The United States House of Representatives approved two, important resolutions on Thursday which would open a path to legal status for undocumented individuals living in this country.
The first resolution, approved 228 to 197 with nine Republicans voting in favor, is called the American Dream and Promise Act. It is an immigration reform bill opening a means to citizenship for the millions of “dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, who have been living, working and boosting the country’s economy for years. However, despite House passage, it remains uncertain if there is enough support in the evenly divided United States Senate for the measure to be approved and sent to President Joe Biden for his signature.
In order for the measure to reach the President’s desk, all of the Senate’s Democrats and at least ten Republicans would have to vote in favor of the measure in order to avoid a filibuster.
currently, no process to citizenship exists for “dreamers.” This measure would give conditional, permanent resident status for ten years, while canceling removal proceedings if undocumented immigrants meet certain criteria. Those requirements include:
- Being in the United States on or before January 1, 2021.
- Being 18 years of age or younger on the initial entry date into the country.
- and, Not having been convicted of crimes, such as domestic violence, sexual assault or human trafficking.
The second resolution approved by the House of Representatives on Thursday is called the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. The measure, which would provide undocumented farmworkers a path to earning a green card, passed by a vote of 247 to 174. 30 Republicans voted in favor of the resolution, while one Democrat voted against it.
There are currently more than a million, undocumented farmworkers living in the United States. The resolution, which now heads to the Senate, faces concerns by many Republicans over the recent surge of border crossings by immigrants leaving Mexico.
If the bill clears and Senate and is signed by President Biden, it would allow agricultural workers to earn legal status and ultimately given them the opportunity to apply for permanent residency by showing their prior employment history and pledging to continue to work in the farm and agriculture industry.
Congressman Albio Sires (D – District 8) voted in favor of both House resolutions, stating, “Yesterday I was proud to vote in favor of H.R. 6 and H.R. 1603, two critical bills that seek to protect and provide citizenship to millions of hard-working undocumented members of our communities. I thank Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) for their leadership in moving forward both bills. I have long supported providing a legal pathway to citizenship for the over 11 million undocumented people across our country and this is a great first step. I hope that my colleagues in the Senate can come together to send these bills to President Biden’s desk for his signature.”
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