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House Passes Landmark Immigration Reform Legislation

Rep. Don Beyer issued the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, and H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, legislation that would reform our immigration system and secure permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

“Today the House is turning the page on years of partisan fighting and failure on immigration reform,” said Rep. Beyer. “I have advocated for passage of the Dream Act since I came to Congress, it is a much needed and widely agreed upon fix to protect Dreamers. The legislation we just passed also gives protections to TPS-holders, an especially important issue for Northern Virginians. These bills are commonsense solutions that enjoy widespread, bipartisan support, and the Senate should send both to the President’s desk.”

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 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Most 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.

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act stabilizes the agricultural sector by establishing a program for agricultural workers, including their spouses and minor children, whereby these workers 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. 

Beyer has been an outspoken advocate for comprehensive immigration reform since arriving in Congress.