Congressman Torres Votes to Pass Two Historic Immigration Bills

Mar 18, 2021
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Torres 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.

“Dreamers are American and they love and fight hard for our country. The Dream and Promise Act will ensure they are protected and able to achieve their greatest potential. I am proud to have voted for a bill that keeps Americans safe and protects the farmworkers, Dreamers, and TPS and DED recipients who have long been a vital part of our communities.” 

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 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.  

“With the passage of this bill, Dreamers, TPS and DED holders will gain permanent legal status so that they can continue to contribute to the country they call home. Now, I will continue to work to reimagine our entire immigration system so that it is rooted in humanity and acceptance rather than dehumanization and exclusion.” 

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