Our country was based on a dream and created and improved by generations of dreamers. Creating a pathway to citizenship for current “Dreamers” through the reconciliation bill should be a top priority for Congress as we head into another cycle of uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s Dreamers are undocumented young adults brought to the U.S. as children by no choice of their own. About half of these young people are essential workers who have kept the U.S. running through the COVID-19 pandemic.

While many of us have been able to work from the safety and comfort of our homes throughout this pandemic, Dreamer essential workers have not had that luxury. Dreamers are doctors, nurses, and paramedics risking their lives to treat COVID-19 patients. They are garbage truck drivers and construction workers keeping our communities clean and livable. They are farmworkers performing manual labor to harvest crops, tend to livestock, and pick produce. I have had the privilege of working with farmworkers, the people who feed us, for my entire professional career. Farmworkers are often from other countries and travel thousands of miles to perform their jobs in the most difficult of circumstances. They deserve our support. Dreamers have risked their lives to work on the front lines of the pandemic to tend to COVID-19 patients, put food on our tables, maintain our essential infrastructure, and keep our communities clean.

Citizenship would provide Dreamer essential workers with the ability to step out of the shadows. Creating a pathway to citizenship through reconciliation is a commonsense solution to show our appreciation for our Dreamer essential workers and help the country recover from the pandemic. To do so would be the embodiment of the American Dream.

 

Rep. Thom Harnett

D-Gardiner

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