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This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.

On March 18, 2021, two immigration-related bills passed in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. The bills are briefly summarized below:

  • The American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6) passed the House 228-197, with 9 Republicans joining Democrats in voting in favor. The legislation includes provisions to create a pathway to legalization for an estimated 2.5 million “Dreamers” who came to the United States as children, granting conditional permanent residence for 10 years, granting full permanent resident status subject to certain requirements, and canceling removal proceedings for eligible people.

The bill imposes various qualifying requirements for conditional permanent residence, such as the person being continuously physically present in the United States since January 1, 2021, passing a background check, and being enrolled in or having completed certain educational programs. The conditions placed on permanent resident status would be removed if the person applies and meets certain requirements, such as completing certain programs at an educational institution, serving in the military, or being employed. Removal also would be canceled and a path to permanent residence would be provided for certain beneficiaries of temporary protected status or deferred enforced departure.

  • The Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 1603) passed the House 247-174, with 30 Republicans joining all but one Democrat in voting in favor. The legislation includes provisions to streamline the H-2A agricultural worker visa process, establish a pathway for eligible farmworkers to obtain permanent residence (green cards), and create temporary status as “Certified Agricultural Workers.” Roughly a million farmworkers could be affected by the legislation.

Both bills now head to the Senate, where their fates are uncertain.

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