For Immediate Release: May 2, 2023

Media Contact: Gabriela Hernandez, [email protected]


Watch the recording of D.C May Day Event:


Washington, DC — All workers deserve dignity, humane treatment, and fair pay in the workplace. And on this International Workers Day, DMV-area workers, activists, leaders, and supporters rallied outside the White House and marched to the Senate to demand a designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from Central America. The rally, march, and Senate lobby visits were organized by CASA, SEIU, Alianza Americas, 32BJ SEIU, FLIC, and more.

“Thousands of 32BJ’s essential workers are TPS holders from Central America who sacrificed their lives to keep us safe and our economy moving during the pandemic,” said Jaime Contreras, a naturalized citizen from El Salvador and an Executive Vice President at 32BJ SEIU, the largest union representing immigrant workers in the country.

Among one of the speakers at the rally was Daysi Lemus from El Salvador. “I came to this country after Hurricane Mitch in 1988. We deserve TPS for the hundreds of thousands of dedicated workers who came here from countries like mine. TPS represents the promise of a diverse and brave country for workers like me,” expressed Lemus.

Climate disasters; corruption, violence, and repression—these are challenges people in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador face on a daily basis. They are also the conditions that qualify these countries for TPS.

“I had to leave my small business and my family in Honduras because the cartel extorted me. When I came to the U.S, I thought I was going to live the dream, but it is very hard when I cannot work. I urge Biden to pass TPS for Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala,” said Xiomara Rodriguez from Honduras.

People who benefit from TPS must already live in the U.S. Although participants came from as far away as Chester, PA and the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the DC metro area is particularly impacted with more than 300,000 people from Central America claiming it as home. They are our relatives, neighbors, coworkers, and friends. They have built lives here and are making important contributions, as community leaders, family leaders, and workers in vital industries.

Rafael Lacayo from Nicaragua commented, “We are essential workers. It is time this government treats us with dignity. We don’t want to be instruments used by political campaigns. We want TPS, it’s the least they can do for us.”

“TPS is truly an international workers’ issue. People from Central America deserve the stability of TPS—legal work permits and protection from deportation,’ said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA. “TPS is a lifeline, and the Biden administration must grant TPS for Central America today!”

More than 1,000 people attended the rally outside the White House and lobbied their U.S. senators. Watch a recording here.



With over 122,000 lifetime Latino, immigrant, and working-class members across 46 US states, CASA is the foremost immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region and a national leader in supporting immigrant families and ensuring that all individuals have the core support necessary for full participation in society. Now a national immigrant powerhouse, CASA creates change with its powerbuilding model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall.