Today, Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), the only formerly undocumented immigrant serving in the U.S. Congress, voted to pass H.R. 6., and other Act’s.
Some of those other acts include the American Dream and Promise Act, and H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
The 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 work to feed America and gives them a path to the legal status they have more than earned.
Watch Rep. Espaillat’s remarks in support of today’s historic vote.
“In New York and across the country, our immigrant communities make America more American,” said Rep. Espaillat. “The people of New York, specifically my constituents, want solutions to our broken immigration system that honor our values, and make America the more perfect union our founders envisioned. 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 and long past due. I am proud to join my colleagues to pass these historic, commonsense and overwhelmingly popular bills that ensure our proud immigrant communities can continue to pursue their American dream as they strengthen, enrich and contribute to our 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 Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure. 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 have since made it their own by contributing to our economy and our communities for years. May are employed at high rates in industries that often struggle to find sufficient U.S. workers, while others have served in our armed forces or on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act provides a path to lawful stabilizes the agricultural sector and preserves our rural heritage by ensuring that farmers can meet their labor needs while protecting the rights of agricultural workers.
Critically, the bill would provide a path to lawful permanent residency to these workers, their spouses, and their minor children 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.
“Today, Congress took critical action to honor the dignity and humanity of all those who come to our country to build a brighter future for themselves and their families. In the process, these brave individuals have reinvigorated our communities and our democracy,” continued Rep. Espaillat. “Now, 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 more fair, orderly, and humane and our nation safer, stronger, and more prosperous. The Senate must now take up and pass these critical bills, and Congress must work to close additional gaps in our immigration system bypassing the U.S. Citizenship Act. Democrats will never stop fighting to uphold our nation’s proud heritage as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all.”
During the start of the 117th Congress, Rep. Espaillat led several of his colleagues to introduce a comprehensive legislative package, the U.S. Citizenship Act, aimed at protecting immigrants, immigrant families, and upholding the promises of the American dream and vows to continue working closely with the Biden administration to prioritize comprehensive immigration reform to help strengthen opportunities for immigrant families and ensure the American dream remains vital for all.
Representative Espaillat is the first Dominican American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and his congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill, and the north-west Bronx.
First elected to Congress in 2016, Representative Espaillat is serving his third term in Congress. Representative Espaillat currently serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for funding the federal government’s vital activities.
He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), where he serves as the Second Vice-Chair and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where he serves as Deputy Whip.
Representative Espaillat also currently serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.