The Time is Now for Immigration Reform

Mar 25, 2021

There are over 3,700 DACA-eligible immigrants living and working in Iowa who’ve only known the U.S. as home. They are an integral part of our workforce, which already faces shortages. We must use all tools available to us to keep and build our workforce. The American Dream & Promise Act allows these Americans to say in Iowa and continue working.

The agriculture industry, one of the most critical sectors of Iowa’s economy, also faces a workforce gap that immigrants are able to fill. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act will establish a program for agricultural workers in the U.S. to earn legal status through continued agricultural employment and contribution to the U.S. agricultural economy. It also seeks to reform the federal E-Verify program, an internet-based employment verification system that is currently flawed.

The American Dream & Promise Act of 2021 would provide DACA program recipients, known as Dreamers, with the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent resident status and eventually citizenship, if they meet certain requirements. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 would create an earned path to legalization for farmworkers, streamline the H-2A visa process, and reform and mandate E-Verify. Both bills previously passed the US House earlier this month and we’re urging members of the Senate to follow suit.

These two bills would provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who are serving on the front lines in healthcare, food service, and other essential industries. We know they don’t address every problem within our immigration system, but they can start the process for a broader conversation on reform. Today, more than ever, it is clear we need broader immigration reform that addresses the need for smart border security and asylum policies. The border situation, however, does not change the fact that these bills give much needed relief for immigrants who are already essential and contributing members to Iowa’s economy and communities.

Join our efforts in contacting Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst and urge them to support the bipartisan American Dream & Promise Act and Farm Worker Modernization Act that provide solutions to our workforce and immigration challenges.

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