Costa Votes for Path to Citizenship for Farm Laborers, Dreamers

Mar 18, 2021
Press Release


(WASHINGTON) - Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after his vote for H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, and H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. These two landmark pieces of legislation work to modernize and reform our immigration system and secure permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who have been, and will continue to be, key to the economic recovery of our nation:

“I want to commend the CHC, Chairman Ruiz and Chairwoman Lofgren on their leadership in getting these two monumental pieces of legislation to the floor”, said Costa.  “Providing a path to legal status to farm workers for the betterment of our country is long overdue. American agriculture needs a reliable legal workforce and farm workers deserve to be treated as the essential workers they are. Farmers and farm workers provide a vital and essential partnership that puts food on America’s dinner tables every night. Therefore, the food we eat is a national security issue. This legislation, if passed, would ensure the reliability of America’s food supply remains secured.

“Dreamers came to this country as infants and children through no choice of their own. These young immigrants make immense contributions to our communities every day.  They serve in our military, and are our friends, neighbors, and students going to school to live the American dream.  They have earned a path to legal status and if this legislation becomes law, it would do just that.”

“Our country is at its strongest when we embrace our immigrant communities,” said Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Raul Ruiz, M.D. “The Farm Workforce Modernization Act creates a workforce solution for America’s agriculture industry by providing stability, predictability, and fairness to one of the most critical sectors of our nation’s economy.

“I would like to thank Congressman Costa for his leadership in working to provide legal status for farmworkers and for playing an instrumental role in drafting and passing the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act. Congressman Costa is a champion for farmworker communities and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus applauds his leadership and dedication.”

The Dream and Promise Act aims to protect our nation’s Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders, by providing them a pathway to citizenship: 

In 2017, the Trump Administration eviscerated protections for Dreamers when the decision was made to rescind the DACA program.  Although court injunctions have so far permitted Dreamers to renew, their status remains in limbo.  This bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for eligible Dreamers.  In addition, the Dream and Promise Act would secure permanent residency for people with TPS and DED.  After 5 years, those permanent residents would be eligible to apply to become citizens.   

A fact sheet on the Dream and Promise Act can be found here.

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act is groundbreaking legislation that provides a path to legal residency for nearly 250,000 California farmworkers. 

It is estimated that nearly 60% of California’s more than 420,000 farmworkers are undocumented. The Farm Workforce and Modernization Act will help these workers gain legal status provided they meet certain requirements, such as proving they have worked in agriculture in the past and will continue to work in agriculture in the future.

A fact sheet on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act can be found here