The House of Representatives will vote today on two immigration bills amid concerns about the humanitarian crisis at the nation’s southern border.
The American Dream and Promise Act would create a pathway to citizenship for millions for “Dreamers”––undocumented youths brought to the United States as children––as well as others who’ve been granted temporary protection from deportation.
“For far too long, Dreamers and others have waited in limbo and lived with the fear of being deported from the only country they know as home,” one of the bill’s sponsors, Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) said in a statement. “Dreamers were brought to this country as children. Many are unaware that they are undocumented until they apply for college, and many more have felt the need to keep their status a secret out of fear of deportation.”
Another piece of legislation, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, would allow farmworkers to receive a green card if they pay a fee and work an additional four to eight years in the agricultural sector.
“As one of only a few farmers in Congress, I understand the invaluable contributions our producers and farmworkers make to our nation’s unparalleled agriculture industry,” Representative Dan Newhouse (D-Wash.) said in a statement. “Bringing our agriculture labor program into the 21st century is absolutely critical as we work to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and ensure a stable food supply chain in the United States. We must act now to provide certainty to farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers across the country.”
The news comes a day after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was questioned by lawmakers about the Biden administration’s response to the situation at the border as the country sees an influx of migrants arriving seeking asylum.
“Most are single adults who are expelled within hours back to Mexico, pursuant to the CDC’s public health authority,” Mayorkas said in opening remarks. “Families who are apprehended at the border are also immediately expelled under the same public health authority unless we confront, at times, a limitation on Mexico’s capacity to receive them.”
He added that the situation is “undoubtedly difficult” but that his employees are “working around the clock to manage it, and it will take time.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.