Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Votes to Pass Two Historic Immigration Bills

Washington | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Alexis Torres, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), March 18, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Henry Cuellar voted to pass H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, and H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, two landmark pieces of legislation to modernize and reform our immigration system and secure permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are key to the economic recovery of our nation.  The American Dream and Promise Act provides relief to our nation’s Dreamers, as well as to many Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.  The Farm Workforce Modernization Act provides stability, predictability and fairness to the workers who feed America.

“The people of Texas want an immigration system that honors our values, keeps Americans safe and protects the farmworkers, Dreamers, and TPS and DED recipients who have long been a vital part of our communities and our economy,” said Congressman Cuellar.  “In light of the pandemic, the protections in these bills for our essential frontline workers are urgently needed.  I voted to pass these historic, commonsense and overwhelmingly popular bills to ensure they can continue to pursue their American dream as they strengthen, enrich and contribute to our nation. I remain steadfast in my commitment to working every day to make our immigration system more fair, lawful and humane and our nation safer, stronger and more prosperous”

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 TPS or DED.  The majority 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, a path that is supported by nearly 75 percent of the American public.  H.R. 6 promotes justice and fairness for our nation’s Dreamers, and for the TPS and DED holders who fled ongoing armed conflict and other extraordinary conditions to come to this country and who have been contributing to our economy and our communities for years and are employed at high rates in industries that often struggle to find sufficient U.S. workers. 

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act  stabilizes the agricultural sector and preserves our rural heritage by ensuring that farmers can meet their labor needs by establishing a program for agricultural workers. H.R. 1603 also reforms the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program to provide more flexibility for employers, while ensuring critical protections for workers. 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.