The US House of Representatives passed two expansive immigration bills yesterday, one benefitting “Dreamers” and TPS holder and one benefitting agricultural workers. The American Dream and Promise Act was passed with a vote of 228 to 197 and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed by a vote of 247 to 174. The fate of both bills now rests in the US Senate, where passage is unclear. Millions of undocumented immigrants could benefit if these bills become law, allowing them to work and live in the United States without the fear of deportation and to eventually seek US citizenship. The two bills include similar provisions found in the US Citizenship Act of 2021 that we have previously blogged about, but are more focused on specific pieces of that larger legislation.
The American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, introduced by California congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, would enable Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children who do not have DACA protections and meet certain requirements, and recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to apply for conditional permanent residence for 10 years. Full lawful permanent residence would be available to applicants who have earned a college degree or are in the process of earning a college degree, served honorably in the military for at least two years, or have worked in the country with authorization for at least three years. All House Democrats and seven House Republicans supported the bill’s passage.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021, introduced by California congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, would allow immigrant farmworkers who have worked in the country for at least 180 days in a 2-year period to apply for a temporary, renewable legal status. Depending on previous work history, these workers would eventually be allowed to apply for permanent residency after four or eight years of additional agricultural work. It would also extend the validity of an H-2A visa to three years. All but one House Democrats and thirty House Republicans voted in favor of the bill.
Both bills will now move to the US Senate, where the outlook of passage is murky. The bills would likely need the support of all Democratic Senators and at least 10 Republican senators before the bills can become law.
The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth will continue to monitor the status of these bills as they continue their way through Congress. Our immigration lawyers have been helping people live and work in the United States since 1984. If either of these immigration bills become law our team will be able to help eligible immigrants with the entire process from start to finish. But regardless of potential changes to immigration law, we can examine everyone’s specific immigration status, documented or undocumented, and help determine possible paths forward with a free legal consultation. Call our offices today at 888-517-9888 to speak with an immigration expert!