Foster Votes to Pass Two Historic Immigration Bills
Washington, D.C. – Tonight, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) 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.
“One of my proudest votes as a Member of Congress was in favor of the Dream Act in 2010, but unfortunately that legislation never became law because of the failure of the Senate to act,” Foster said. “Now, 11 years later, I am proud to once again vote for historic legislation to finally provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers – young people who were brought to America as children and have known no other home, as well as immigrants whose countries of origin are beset by armed conflict or natural disasters.
“In addition, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act provides a sensible pathway for farmworkers to gain earned legal status and modernizes the H-2A program to make it work better for both employers and workers.
“These two pieces of commonsense legislation honor the dignity and humanity of all those who come to our country to build a brighter future for themselves and their families, and they provide momentum to pursue a comprehensive immigration reform package that will benefit our entire nation.”
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, and an eventual path to citizenship, 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.
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