Dreamers, Farmworkers Get Path to Citizenship, Legal Status Under House Bills

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer March 19, 2021
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Dreamers, Farmworkers Get Path to Citizenship, Legal Status Under House Bills

​The House of Representatives on March 18 passed two bills that would establish paths to citizenship or legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants, including "Dreamers"—those brought to the country unlawfully as children—and agricultural workers.

The chances of these bills getting enough Republican support in the Senate to pass and become law is low.

We've rounded up articles and resources from SHRM Online and other outlets on the news.

Mostly Along Party Lines

The two bills that passed are the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. The first would provide a pathway to citizenship for the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers as well as for Temporary Protected Status recipients. Nine Republicans joined Democrats in voting for it. Thirty Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the second bill, which would provide a path to legal status for farm workers who are in the country without work authorization.

(CNBC)

Dream Act Plus

The Dream and Promise Act is a more expansive version of the DREAM Act, an oft-introduced bill which addressed Dreamers. The bill also covers immigrants under Temporary Protected Status, a temporary permission to live and work in the U.S., instead of being returned to countries that are deemed unsafe after natural disasters, armed conflict or other emergencies. It could make up to 4.4 million people eligible for permanent residence, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

(USA Today)

Farmworkers Are Essential

The bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act would lay out a path to legal status for undocumented farmworkers, reform the H-2A visa program to provide more flexibility for employers and require nationwide E-Verify use for all agricultural employment once legalization has been phased in. The legislation could give legal status to up to 1.1 million immigrant workers.

(SHRM Online)

Biden Goes Big

President Joe Biden unveiled legislation Jan. 20 that would create a pathway to citizenship for the roughly 10 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, as well as increasing the number of employment-based visas and clearing work visa backlogs.

(SHRM Online)

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