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DeLauro Votes to Pass Two Historic Immigration Bills

March 18, 2021
Press Release

American Dream and Promise Act and Farm Workforce Modernization Act Make Long-Overdue Changes and Honor Our Nation’s Immigrant Heritage

WASHINGTON, DC– House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today 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.

“In Connecticut and across the country, our immigrant communities make America stronger,” said DeLauro. “For far too long, our nation’s Dreamers, TPS, and DED recipients have been living in limbo. It is simply unacceptable that it has taken this long for the federal government to act and provide these essential workers, who make our country better, with the stability they deserve. By passing the Dream and Promise Act, we are allowing these important members of our community to gain permanent legal status so that they can continue to contribute to the country they call home.”

“In light of the pandemic and economic crisis, which have inflicted a devastating toll on immigrant communities and our essential frontline workers, including our farmworkers, the protections in these bills are urgently needed,” DeLauro continued. “The Farm Workforce Modernization Act is critical for Connecticut’s hardworking dairy farmers as it expands access to the H-2A visa temporary agricultural worker program. These commonsense and overwhelmingly popular bills ensure our immigrant communities can continue to pursue their American dream as they strengthen, enrich and contribute to our nation. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the Biden-Harris Administration to build on this momentum with additional action to make our immigration system fairer and more humane and our nation stronger.”

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 protection 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.