March 18, 2021

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Applauds Passage of Historic Immigration Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today voted to pass H.R. 6, The American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, a landmark bill that provides vital protections to up to 3.4 million immigrants, many of whom have spent much of their lives in the United States.

This legislation offers a path to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients. Dreamers who are eligible for protection under the bill came to the United States in their youth and know the United States as their home. Similarly, many immigrants who are eligible for or have received TPS – a program protecting individuals in the United States whose countries of origin are in crisis due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary conditions – have lived in the United for decades.

“Today’s historic vote on the Dream and Promise Act reaffirms that our country is enriched and strengthened by the contributions of immigrants. Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients are students, entrepreneurs, teachers, and neighbors,” Congresswoman Barbara Lee said. “They are also first responders and nurses risking their lives to protect our communities on the frontlines of this pandemic. They are truly Americans in everything but law.” 

“It is unjust and outrageous that millions of Dreamers, TPS, and DED recipients who call our country home, including many who have lived here for decades, are forced to live in fear and uncertainty. Finally, we are moving one step closer to ensuring safety, economic security, and equal opportunity for Dreamers, TPS, and DED recipients. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Biden Administration to make urgently needed reforms to our immigration system and expand the pathway to citizenship.”

The House also passed H.R. 1603, The Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which will stabilize the agricultural sector and preserve our rural heritage by ensuring that farmers can meet their labor needs well into the future.  Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Title I. Securing the Domestic Agricultural Workforce. This title establishes a program for agricultural workers in the United States (and their spouses and minor children) to earn legal status through continued agricultural employment.
  • Title II. Ensuring an Agricultural Workforce for the Future. This title reforms the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program to provide more flexibility for employers, while ensuring critical protections for workers.
  • Title III. Electronic Verification of the Agricultural Workforce. This title would establish a mandatory, nationwide E-Verify system for all agricultural employment, phased in after all legalization and H-2A reforms have been implemented, and including necessary due process protections for authorized workers who are incorrectly rejected by the system. This serves as the last necessary piece to ensure a legal workforce for the agricultural sector. 

For more information on The American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, click here.

For the full text of The Farm Workforce Modernization Act, click here.