In his speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28, 2019, President Biden called on Congress to act on immigration reform. While he urged Congress to support the broad U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, he acknowledged that reaching agreement on enacting a comprehensive reform bill may be a heavy lift.
He insisted that Congress must move forward regardless, on immigration issues where there is agreement. Biden highlighted the strong bipartisan public support for providing a path to permanent residency for Dreamers and DACA holders, and urged Congress to move ahead with passing the Dream Act. He also stressed the need to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act to legalize undocumented farmworkers who are essential to the nation’s food supply chain, and the SECURE Act to provide residency to immigrants who work and are now rooted in our communities after having had Temporary Protected Status for more than twenty years.
Between them, these bills would offer a path to permanent residence to between 4 to 5 million immigrants who are already part of our workforce and economy.
The President’s speech also spotlighted the jobs that the administration’s infrastructure and climate change plans would create. But pre-pandemic, there were millions more open jobs than there were job seekers. Unemployment rates are already decreasing, and getting closer to pre-pandemic levels, and immigrants will be critical to the nation’s economic recovery and any future growth.
Congress must act on immigration reform this year both from a humane, and an economic perspective. Read more about the President’s remarks in this article from The Hill.