Immigration Reform May Be Emerging in Congress, Again

This week a rare and controversial procedural maneuver in the U.S. House began gaining traction to address the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – otherwise known as Dreamers. The maneuver would require two dozen Republicans to join the entire Democratic caucus in supporting a legislative maneuver that then would force a vote on four separate and competing legislative proposals. The four proposals range from purely giving DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship, to coupling the legislation for Dreamers with increased border security, interior enforcement, and limits on future immigration.
While the process is complicated and rare, it shows a real desire by some in Congress to make a serious attempt to make legislative immigration reforms. None of the proposals under consideration address all of AGCs priorities; however, there is reason for AGC to stay engaged. Between the DACA program and the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) program, there are nearly 100,000 individuals with legal work authorization in the construction industry and finding a legislative path for them to permanently remain in the construction industry would avoid further exacerbating the industry’s worker shortage. The TPS program provides the industry with 50,000 workers and just last week the Trump Administration failed to renew the authorization for TPS holders from Honduras. There are an estimated 14,000 Hondurans in the construction industry.
AGC will continue advocating for reforms that strengthens national security, addresses the workforce needs and creates a system that functions efficiently and fairly.
For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or (202) 547-0133.


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