House Passes “Dream and Promise Act”
On June 4, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act. The final vote tally was 237-187, with seven Republicans voting for the bill. Should this legislation become law, the bill would provide a path to legal residency for individuals brought to the country as minors, and for those holding Temporary Protected Status (TPS). An estimated 2.7 million “dreamers” and other immigrants would gain the opportunity to earn eventual citizenship if they meet certain requirements.
The bill is relevant to the horticulture industry for several reasons. First, some individuals who have work authorization via the “deferred action for childhood arrivals” or TPS programs are employed in the industry. The landscape industry is said to be the third largest employment sector for TPS holders from El Salvador and Honduras. Secondly, House passage of this bill clears the way for possible consideration of an agricultural reform bill early this summer, if negotiations succeed in producing a bipartisan agreement. However, the Senate does not look likely to take up the bill anytime soon.