Immigrant Parents and Families Deserve Permanent Solutions

March 17, 2021 | National

This week, the House is considering two bills to improve the immigration system and create more pathways to citizenshipthe American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. 

The American Dream and Promise Act (HR 6) would provide a pathway to citizenship for more than three million DACA holders, TPS holders, and other eligible immigrant youth. 

This legislation would provide a path to lawful permanent residency and citizenship for Dreamers who meet education requirements and other immigrants who call the US home. It would also restore states’ ability to determine in-state tuition eligibility for Dreamers, helping to ease financial barriers to higher education for the nearly 100,000 undocumented youth that graduate from high school every year. 

DACA recipients have grown up in the US. They are our neighbors, our coworkers, our classmates, and parents to a quarter million children in the US. Threats to and uncertainty around DACA threaten family unity and create fear among recipients and their families. This fear discourages families from participating in public events and discourages parents from enrolling their children in day care or other services. 

Every child should have the opportunity to grow up in a safe, stable, and loving family. The American Dream and Promise Act’s paths to citizenship and protections from removal will ensure more children can grow up free from the fear of family separation. 

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act or FWMA (HR 1603) would provide a pathway to citizenship for thousands of undocumented farmworkers and their families. 

The FWMA would establish a program for agricultural workers, their spouses, and their minor children to earn legal status through continued agricultural employment. The bill also includes important provisions on wage stabilization and worker protections. 

Undocumented immigrants working in agriculture are essential workers, making sure food gets to grocery stores and to families’ dinner tables. By extending protections to farmworker families, this legislation will ensure agricultural frontliners can do this important work without uncertainty and fear of family separation. 

While we work to strengthen and build support for the US Citizenship Act, these two bills are essential to protect Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and their families. 

Immigration policies have a direct impact on the health and well-being of childrenimmigrant children and children who have immigrant parents. These bills as well as the US Citizenship Act are critical first steps to providing permanent solutions and expanding pathways to citizenship, promoting family unity, and protecting the health and well-being of our children. 

We urge Congress to pass these protections for immigrant youth, Dreamers, farmworkers, and their families.