On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed two major immigration bills. The bills would “establish paths to citizenship or legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants, including those brought to the country unlawfully as children and workers in the agriculture sector.”
The first bill, dubbed the American Dream and Promise Act, would provide a pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, and those granted temporary protection from deportation. The measure passed 228 to 197, with nine Republicans voting in favor of the measure.
“For far too long, Dreamers and others have waited in limbo and lived with the fear of being deported from the only country they know as home.”
“Dreamers were brought to this country as children,” she continued. “Many are unaware that they are undocumented until they apply for college, and many more have felt the need to keep their status a secret out of fear of deportation.-Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif.
The other bill that passed Thursday, titled the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, creates a system for undocumented workers to apply for legal status and allow farmworkers to receive a green card if they pay a fine and work an additional four to eight years in agriculture. The measure would also overhaul the temporary agricultural worker program, which allows U.S. employers who meet certain regulatory requirements to bring foreign workers into the country to fill such jobs.
President Biden’s statements:
Statement by President Biden on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021
MARCH 18, 2021 • STATEMENTS AND RELEASES
Farmworkers are vital to the wellbeing of our country and our economy. For generations, America’s farmworkers – many of whom are undocumented – have worked countless hours to feed our nation and ensure our communities are healthy and strong. This has been even more clear and crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, as farmworkers have put their lives and the lives of their loved ones on the line to ensure that families across the country have food on the table.
This is why I support the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 and celebrate its passage. The Act will deliver the lawful status and better working conditions that this critical workforce deserves, as well as much needed stability for farmers, growers, and the entire agriculture industry.
My Administration is ready to work with leaders on both sides of the aisle to address the needs of our essential workers, bring greater dignity and security to our agricultural sector, and finally enact the long-term solutions we need to create a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system, in addition to tackling the root causes of migration to the United States.
Statement by President Biden on the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021
MARCH 18, 2021 • STATEMENTS AND RELEASES
In every generation, America has been enriched and strengthened by wave after wave of new immigrants. Dreamers and TPS holders, for whom the United States is home, are part of our national fabric, and make vital contributions to communities across the country every day. Many have worked tirelessly on the frontlines throughout this pandemic to keep our country afloat, fed, and healthy—yet they are forced to live with fear and uncertainty because of their immigration status.
The American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 is a critical first step in reforming our immigration system and will provide much needed relief to TPS holders and Dreamers, young people who came here as children and know no other country. I support this bill, and commend the House of Representatives for passing this important legislation.
My Administration looks forward to working together with Congress to do the right thing for Dreamers and TPS holders who contribute so much to our country, and to building a 21st century immigration system that is grounded in dignity, safety, and fairness, and finally enacts the long term solutions we need to create an orderly and humane immigration system, tackle the root causes of migration to the United States and to create a path to citizenship for the undocumented population in the United States.