This week the House passed two proposals that would legalize the subsets of around 11 million immigrants who are living in the US without legal permission. The hope is to get the bill to President Biden’s desk as quickly as possible to give immigrants an easier chance at gaining citizenship and remaining in the US safely.
All House Democrats and nine Republicans voted to approve the American Dream And Promise Act, which passed with a vote of 228 to 197. The proposal would “allow more than 2.3 million Dreamers, or unauthorized immigrants who came to the US as minora, as well as beneficiaries of certain temporary humanitarian programs, to gain permanent legal status and eventually, U.S. citizenship,” according to news sources.
The House also passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act with a vote of 247 to 174. This act will grant legal status to the hundreds of thousands of farmworkers in the US who don’t have the proper paperwork but provide some of the most essential services and labor to the entire nation. Thirty Republicans voted in favor of the bill and one Democrat voted against it.
Biden has continuously claimed that he plans to legalize most of the country’s undocumented population which has been met with a lot of Republican push-back. The two bills on their own are Democrats best chance at advancing these bills and getting these citizens documented. Nancy Pelosi recently spoke on the two bills:
“It’s always been a pleasure for me to sing praises of our Dreamers. They make us proud, for us, this is a day not only passing legislation, but a cause for celebration.”
If signed into law the American Dream And Promise Act would make all DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrants who were brought into the US before they were 18 eligible to apply for a 10-year period of conditional permanent residency.
Applicants would be eligible to apply for permanent residence if they earn a college degree, enroll in a bachelor’s program for two years, serve in the military for two years, or if they work in the US for a three-year period.
More than 300,000 immigrants currently live in the US with Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure, all of which could be eligible to apply for permanent residency under the bill if they meet all the requirements.
“The Farm Workforce Modernization Act would allow immigrant farmworkers to apply for a temporary and renewable immigration status if they have worked at least 180 days in the U.S. during a two-year period. Eligible workers would be allowed to request green cards if they complete four or eight years of additional agricultural work, depending on whether they have performed such work for more than or less than 10 years,” according to CBS.
The proposal would also make visa’s valid for three years. Congressional Democrats proposed to expand legal immigration and invest in Central American border controls as well. Dreamers, TPS holders and farmworkers could automatically be eligible for a green card under the proposal.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.