In full transparency, the following is press release from Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark’s office submitted to SOURCE media. Clark is a Democrat.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, March 18, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark voted to pass H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, and H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
These two landmark pieces of legislation modernize and reform our immigration system. The American Dream and Promise Act provides relief to our nation’s Dreamers, as well as to many Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act provides stability, predictability and fairness to the workers who feed America. Both bills passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support.
“Our immigration system in America is broken. While farmworkers, Dreamers, and TPS and DED recipients serve an essential role in our economy and even national security, they remain fearful for their future,” said Assistant Speaker Clark. “During this pandemic, they have remained on the frontlines feeding our families and keeping our businesses open while facing devastating losses in the communities they helped build. This legislation is needed now more than ever to ensure they can achieve the American dream, and we continue to build a stronger, more diverse, and more equitable America.”
“The Dream and Promise Act is a critical step towards fixing our dysfunctional immigration system by providing a pathway to citizenship for tens of thousands of Dreamers and TPS holders in Massachusetts,” said Eva Millona, President and CEO of the MIRA Coalition. “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress and the Biden administration to build on this great progress by securing a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million immigrants living in the United States without status who are essential parts of the fabric of our nation and make invaluable contributions to our communities and our economy.”
“This country is in desperate need to overhaul our immigration system. Passage by the House of the American Dream and Promise Act is a first step,” said Diego Low, Coordinator of MetroWest Worker Center. “This legislation will provide a path to legal residency to millions of young people who know no other home and to refugees who have lived here for decades. Millions of decent hard-working people will be directly affected by this legislation as will their US citizen husbands, wives, and children. We hope – we demand – that the Senate follow the House’s action rather than play politics with people’s lives.”
The American Dream and Promise Act establishes a path to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status for Dreamers and for certain individuals who either held or were eligible for TPS or DED. The majority of these individuals have been in the United States for much of their lives, often with work authorization and temporary protections against deportation.
Under the bill, five years after attaining full LPR status, individuals are eligible to apply for citizenship. H.R. 6 promotes justice and fairness for our nation’s Dreamers, and for the TPS and DED holders who fled ongoing armed conflict and other extraordinary conditions to come to this country and who have been contributing to our economy and our communities for years.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act stabilizes the agricultural sector and ensures that farmers can meet their labor needs by establishing a program for agricultural workers to earn legal Certified Agricultural Worker (CAW) status through continued agricultural employment. H.R. 1603 also reforms the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program to provide more flexibility for employers, while ensuring critical protections for workers.