LOS ANGELES -- The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the largest immigrant rights organization in California, celebrates the approval in the U.S. House of Representatives of two important immigration reform bills that form part of the YES to Immigrants Forward Agenda: the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
The Dream and Promise Act passed by a 228-197 margin, while the Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed by a 247-174 margin. These votes reflect two important wins for immigrants in this country. And even as we face big fights to pass them in the Senate, these votes also show that the country is with us, that the tide that for so long swamped our dreams now is turning in our favor.
As we work diligently to advance these bills in the Senate, we will keep the drumbeat going in the House to approve the U.S. Citizenship Act and the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act, the next key bills in our YES to Immigrants Forward Agenda.
Please attribute the following statements to Angelica Salas, CHIRLA executive director:
"This is a day for celebration in what we look forward to being a year when Congress took to heart the mandate of the American people and voted affirmatively on immigration reform. For decades we have been working to turn the hateful narrative that caused members of Congress to vote to keep immigrants on the margins of our society and our borders. Today's votes really show we did our job: immigrants want desperately to contribute to this country. All they need is a fair playing field.
"If the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act become law, they will achieve what up to now has been only a fervent dream: an eventual path to citizenship for between 3.6 million and 5.5 million people--DACA and TPS holders and new applicants, as well as farm laborers--who already contribute, who are already Americans in all but name.
"With today's votes we are beginning to put the years of suffering and fearing that families could be torn apart in the rear-view mirror for these immigrants. Now we need the Senate to take on these bills and the House to continue their work on two more key legislative musts: U.S. Citizenship Act and the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act.
"The difficult work of passing these bills in the Senate starts now so they can head to President Biden's desk. But we are doing so with new momentum today, with the wind at our back, and fairness and justice as companions."