Dear Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McConnell,
I write on behalf of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), the national office for 167 Catholic Charities agencies across the country and the U.S. territories, to express our appreciation for the Biden administration’s introduction of broad reform legislation to address long overdue changes to the U.S. immigration system. Our hope is that this important conversation will ultimately result in just and humane immigration policies.
While we continue to support comprehensive immigration reform efforts, we urge the Senate to take up and pass the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6) and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 1603) without delay. It is our hope that Congress will expeditiously enact these two important measures that had bipartisan support in the previous Congress and have already passed the House of Representatives. Together, the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act would establish a path to citizenship for immigrant youth, TPS holders, DED holders, and seasonal farmworkers, many of whom have lived in and served communities across the United States for many years.
Last year, Catholic Charities agencies provided over 160,000 migrants with shelter and respite care. We have over 100 years of experience serving and responding to the needs of newcomers. Each day Catholic Charities agencies witness firsthand both the unique hardships faced by migrant communities and the incredible contributions they continue to make to our country. We assist DREAMERS who were brought to this country by others and who wish to pursue their dreams in the only country they know as home. We also assist essential workers in farm labor and food supply industries who continue to work and feed our country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CCUSA stands ready to work with Congress in support of just immigration reform policies. Congress should take this opportunity to adopt both the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD
President & CEO