Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García Votes to Protect Millions of Immigrants and their Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Jesús “Chuy'' García issued the following statement after voting to pass H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, and H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. These two landmark pieces of legislation will modernize and reform our immigration system and secure a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have been key in keeping our country moving during this pandemic:
A video of Congressman García speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on H.R. 6 can be found here.
The American Dream and Promise Act provides relief to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients as well as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act provides stability and fairness to the workers who feed America.
“We are at a crucial moment in history and passing these two bills is only the first step in rewriting our immigration laws and establishing a fair and humane system. For decades, I have heard the plight of neighbors and people in my community whose lives have been put on hold because they lack the protections these bills will give them.
“The Farm Workforce Modernization Act honors millions of farm workers who have risked their health to maintain our country’s food supply during this pandemic, and those that came before them, like my father. As a son of a bracero, I know the abuses and harsh working conditions many farm workers face for lack of legal status.
“My vote for the American Dream and Promise Act was for the young immigrants in my district who discovered they were undocumented when applying for their first jobs, for those unable to go to college, and for those robbed of opportunities to pursue their dreams. H.R. 6 is critical for millions, but it also contains deeply flawed provisions that perpetuate racial injustice. I, along with 47 of my colleagues including hundreds of advocates and immigrants’ rights organizations nationwide, worked to eliminate racially motivated barriers to legalization from this bill. These harmful provisions will deny immigrant youth, who would qualify for protections under H.R. 6, a better future. Mistakes committed as a child, or baseless allegations should not derail someone's life. We came up short to remove these provisions, but will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that these provisions are not included in any future immigration legislation as we push for a fair and just system for all immigrants.
“I voted for these bills because every immigrant living, working, and contributing to our vibrant communities deserves a chance to call America home. Still, Democrats missed an opportunity to disentangle our racially biased criminal legal system from our immigration laws. That is why I reintroduced the A New Way Forward Act in January, to roll back immigration laws that result in racial profiling, disproportionate incarceration, deportation, and separation of immigrant families and Latino, Black, and Asian communities. I will continue fighting to change these provisions as the bill moves forward to final passage.”
A fact sheet on The Dream and Promise Act can be found here.
A fact sheet on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act can be found here.