Posted by 19 March 2021
Children brought to the U.S. illegally and foreign farmworkers will see major changes in their legal status under legislation passed by the House of Representatives this week.
The two bills were HR 6 and HR 1603. Here's how VoteSpotter described HR 6, which passed by a vote of 228-197:
To provide a pathway to citizenship for children who were brought to the U.S. illegally who meet certain conditions, such as serving in the military or attending college.
And here is how VoteSpotter described HR 1603, which passed by a vote of 247-174:
To allow some agricultural workers who entered the U.S. illegally to avoid deportation after paying a fine and meeting other conditions. The legislation also expands the farmworker visa program and requires agricultural companies to verify a worker’s immigration status with the federal government.
These two bills deal with issues where there have been areas of bipartisan agreement. HR 6 deals with "Dreamers," unauthorized aliens who came to the U.S. as children with their parents and who have gotten jobs, entered college, or joined the military. President Obama attempted to shield these individuals from deportation under the DACA program but it came under legal fire. HR 1603 concerns the call by farmers to allow more foreign workers into the U.S. to pick crops.
In the past, Republicans have supported a path to citizenship or a shield from deportation for Dreamers and have also supported calls for a revised agriculture guest worker program. However, neither bill gained significant GOP support. Republicans in Congress argue that these bills are rewarding illegal activity and should be paired with greater security on the U.S.-Mexican border. Democrats say that these bills are a fair way to treat people who have been in the U.S. for decades, obeying the law and contributing to society.
This legislation does have some Republican support in the Senate, so it is possible that it could pass in modified form.
Do you think there should be a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers? Should the U.S. allow more foreign agriculture workers to enter the U.S. for limited periods of time?