U.S. Rep. Lawrence Votes to Pass Two Historic Immigration Bills
Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) voted to pass H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, and H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, two landmark pieces of legislation to modernize and reform our immigration system and secure permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have been, and will continue to be, key to the economic recovery of our nation. 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.
“Today is a historic and huge victory for our DREAMers, farmworkers, and TPS and DED individuals. Many of them have been on the frontlines of this crisis working to keep our communities safe. Every single day, they’re contributing to our country—the place they call home—and make us stronger,” said Rep. Lawrence. “After years of the former Administration throwing millions of lives into limbo, the House is taking an important step in protecting and providing a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth and TPS and DED individuals. They are every bit as American as we are, and I join the overwhelming number of Americans who recognize that their home is here. DACA, TPS, and DED individuals are integral parts of our community and deserve to live in the country they love without fear of deportation.”
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. Five years after attaining full LPR status, individuals are then eligible to apply for citizenship, a path that is supported by nearly 75 percent of the American public. 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 and are employed at high rates in industries that often struggle to find sufficient U.S. workers.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act – stabilizes the agricultural sector and preserves our rural heritage by ensuring that farmers can meet their labor needs by establishing a program for agricultural workers, their spouses and minor children can 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. And to ensure a legal workforce for the agriculture sector, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act establishes a mandatory, nationwide E-Verify system to ensure compliance with the reformed H-2A visa program while also protecting workers’ due process rights.