Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, two pieces of legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support in 2019—the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6) and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 1537)—were reintroduced with plans to bring them to the floor for a vote in the weeks ahead. Together, the bills would make important strides toward building an immigration system that is more fair, humane, and workable, providing a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants and creating a more sustainable long-term workforce solution for growers and current and future farm workers.
In response, Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Immigration week is coming to the House floor and it couldn’t come quickly enough. With 5 million undocumented workers putting their health and safety on the line every day as part of the country’s essential workforce, including hundreds of thousands of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and farmworkers, the time for Congress to enact legislation providing permanent protection and a path to citizenship is now. The American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act both passed the House two years ago with strong bipartisan support. With DACA recipients and TPS holders still in jeopardy due to pending litigation and as farmworkers continue to feed U.S. families one full year into a pandemic that has been particularly brutal to many working in the fields, we cannot wait any longer.
As we celebrate the introduction of these important bills and work toward swift passage in the House, we will keep our eyes on the Senate to make sure legislation ultimately reaches the president’s desk for signature. Providing a path to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and farmworkers, as well as for all undocumented essential workers and their families, is not only the right thing to do but also the smart thing to do. America cannot truly build back better—certainly not in a way that fully advances racial and gender equity in the economy and throughout society—if it leaves millions of undocumented workers and their families behind.
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