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Rep. Bera Votes for Historic Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) voted to pass H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, landmark legislation to modernize and reform our immigration system and secure permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.

“Like towns and cities across America, Sacramento County is home to DACA recipients who are our neighbors, friends, teachers, first responders, and entrepreneurs,” said Representative Bera. “As a nation of immigrants, we cannot turn our backs on those who know America as their only home. Without permanent protections such as the American Dream and Promise Act, the future of immigrants and their families are at risk. I will continue to work with the Biden Administration and my colleagues in the House and Senate to reform our immigration system so that it is more safe, fair, and humane.”

The American Dream and Promise Act establishes a path to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status for DACA recipients and for certain individuals who either held or were eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (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.

In 2017, Representative Bera attended a Joint Session of Congress with Alfredo Rivas, a Dreamer student who arrived in the United States at age 13 after fleeing El Salvador with his family, and despite excellent academic grades, tuition costs prevented him from attending college. Through immigration policies including AB 540 and the 2011 California Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, Rivas became eligible to pay in-state tuition, qualified for financial aid, and pursued his goal of becoming an immigration attorney.

Representative Bera also voted today to pass H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. This legislation stabilizes the agricultural sector and preserves our farming heritage by ensuring that farmers can meet their labor needs by establishing a program for agricultural workers, their spouses, and minor children who can earn legal Certified Agricultural Worker (CAW) status and an eventual pathway to citizenship 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.

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