WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) helped the House pass the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 to provide legal protections for immigrants living in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status. The bill establishes a pathway to citizenship for up to 2.5 million immigrants, including roughly 45,000 Dreamers in San Diego, who have built their lives in America over decades and have contributed to our nation’s communities and economy.
“Those who benefit from this bill are our hard-working friends, neighbors, and coworkers who have paved a future for themselves here and contribute to our economy; many have never known another country as their home,” said Rep. Peters. “They deserve the permanent protections the American Dream and Promise Act provides, especially after experiencing such uncertainty for the past four years in our country.”
To be DACA eligible, a person must have arrived in the United States as a child, pass a criminal background check, be working or attending school, or serving in the military. TPS holders reside in the United States because they were forced to flee violence, natural disasters, or civil unrest in their home country. DED is a temporary immigration benefit similar to TPS, but it solely depends on the President’s power to conduct foreign relations. The bill is supported by numerous organizations, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the ACLU, and UnidosUSA.
The House also voted today to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021, which reforms the agricultural labor sector and provides a pathway to citizenship for farmworkers to ensure that America’s farms can meet their future labor needs. Both bills are the first step in addressing a broken immigration system that underwent significant stress during the Trump Administration and continues to pose serious issues today.
“These bills are not catch-all solutions,” Rep. Peters continued. “Our immigration system is in tatters, and it’s going to take a whole-of-government approach to address the deep-seated problems at our borders and beyond. That said, both votes keep America’s promise that if you work hard and play by the rules, we have a place for you. I strongly urge my colleagues in the Senate to step up and protect Dreamers, TPS recipients, and certified workers as we did in the House today.”
During his time in Congress, Rep. Peters has repeatedly called for DACA to be included in comprehensive immigration reform plans so that the approximately 800,000 DACA recipients can fully contribute to American society. In 2017, he wrote an op-ed calling on Congress to pass the Dream Act. During a meeting with President Trump, Rep. Peters defended Dreamers and San Diego’s opposition to the border wall. In July 2020, Rep. Peters hosted a virtual town hall with local DACA recipients to discuss the Supreme Court ruling to uphold DACA and the future for immigrants in America. He has continually called for comprehensive immigration reform.