On February 18, 2021, US Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and US Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) introduced President Biden’s proposed immigration bill, the US Citizenship Act, in the House of Representatives. This bill includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the US. It also creates a pathway to citizenship for farmworkers, TPS holders, DACA recipients, and those covered by Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
This transformative proposal would also guarantee that hundreds of thousands of guest workers employed in the food processing and agriculture industries on H-2 visas have access, along with their families, to expedited citizenship and increased labor protections.
This proposal represents a decisive step towards recognizing the importance of families, the immigrant community, and the vital role that migrant and immigrant workers play. The Center for Migrants’ Rights (Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, or CDM) applauds the inclusion of migrant workers in the pathway to citizenship. CDM hopes that the US Citizenship Act of 2021 is only the beginning of many additional concrete federal and legislative actions that guarantee that migrant workers are treated with dignity and receive long-awaited labor protections.
Careful - don’t be fooled! This is an excellent start, but it is only a legislative proposal. It is not yet law. The legislative process to approve this bill will take time, and this bill is only one of many proposals related to immigration. You can take action to advance this and other proposals -- the voices of migrant workers can play an important role in this process.
Join the fight for migrant justice: Let us know how a pathway to citizenship would benefit you, and why you think the US Government should pass legislation to open a pathway to citizenship for workers with H-2A and H-2B visas.
Image: Flickr / Mexicanos Sin Fronteras, 2006 / Via Flickr.com