The House on March 18 approved legislation that would provide permanent legal status to more than 100,000 workers in the construction industry holding Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act of 2021, would allow Dreamers (undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children and who grew up knowing America as their only home) and TPS beneficiaries (nationals of specifically designated countries that are confronting an ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions) to continue to reside and work legally in the United States.
Immigrants are an essential part of the construction industry, representing more than 24% of the workforce. TPS beneficiaries and DACA participants with legal work authorization have helped to fill part of the construction industry’s growing labor gap, yet their ability to contribute to our growing economy is at risk as the future of both programs remains uncertain and tied up in the courts. Without these valuable workers, existing labor shortages in the home building sector would be exacerbated, leading to project delays, increased costs for buyers, and slowed economic growth in the industry.
For these reasons, NAHB designated support for H.R. 6 as a “key vote” for the housing industry. NAHB supports the creation of a pathway whereby eligible Dreamers and TPS beneficiaries can adjust their status to legally and permanently remain in the U.S.
At the same time, NAHB believes that addressing the future of hardworking Dreamers and TPS beneficiaries is just one piece of the larger immigration puzzle.
NAHB supports comprehensive reforms to fix the nation’s broken immigration system that will:
- Secure our nation’s borders;
- Enact a sensible employee verification system that works for small businesses and protects employers that make a good faith effort to comply; and
- Create a new market-based guest worker that meets our current and future construction workforce needs.
NAHB looks forward to working with Congress in a bipartisan manner to advance further necessary reforms to our nation’s immigration system.