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AGC Touts Benefits of Dreamer Act

The House of Representatives passed a bill that would offer a path to citizenship to more than 2 million undocumented immigrants, including “Dreamers” who were brought to the United States as children.

The vote was 237 to 187 for the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, which would grant "Dreamers" 10 years of legal residence status if they meet certain requirements. They would then receive permanent green cards after completing at least two years of higher education or military service, or after working for three years.

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, released the following statement in response to the passage of the Act:

“Members of the House of Representatives have wisely chosen to approve a measure that will protect the legal status of more than 100,000 people currently working in the U.S. construction industry, among other individuals. The men and women covered by this measure are making essential contributions to economic development and infrastructure projects across the country. 

“Moreover, this measure represents an important first step in reforming the nation’s broken immigration system, Sandherr said. "Indeed, this association has long championed, and continues to advocate for, broader reforms to our immigration system that include enhanced border security measures and market-based guest worker programs.

“We urge Senators to also act to protect workers in the country under the TPS and 'Dreamers' programs either in a stand-alone measure or as part of broader, and much-needed, reforms to our immigration system," Sandherr said. " Failure to act will remove tens of thousands of men and women from the domestic construction workforce at a time when a vast majority of contractors report difficulty finding qualified workers to hire.

“Without these workers construction projects in many parts of the country, particularly in regions with a large presence of so-called dreamers and individuals with temporary protected status, are likely to be significantly disrupted," Sandherr concluded. "That is why this association made the House measure one of its Key Votes and that is why we and our members will take every possible step to ensure that Senators understand how essential immigration reform is to the nation’s continued economic growth.”