Congressman Panetta, Colleagues Introduce Comprehensive Immigration Reform with the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021

February 18, 2021
Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) joined Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38) in introducing the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021.  Based on his previous work on immigration reform in his first two terms of Congress, Congressman Panetta was invited to be an original cosponsor of the legislation.  This bill would be a comprehensive immigration reform proposal that would create a pathway to citizenship for deserving immigrants, responsibly manage and secure the southern border, keep communities safe and families together, and better manage migration across the hemisphere.  The legislation is the end result of close work and collaboration with the Biden Administration, civil and immigrant rights leaders, and members of Congress.


“Our immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed.  Unfortunately, politics has outweighed proper policies for the people when it comes to immigration reform by the federal government.  Fortunately, the Biden Administration is using the foundation that we laid in Congress with our previous legislation to take a step in the right direction with the U.S. Citizenship Act,” said Congressman Panetta.  “In addition to trying to put an end to the politics of dehumanizing immigrants and asylum seekers, this comprehensive immigration reform bill will provide an earned path to citizenship for deserving immigrants, including farmworkers, Dreamers, and recipients of Temporary Protected Status, ensure an opportunity for their family members to stay here, and restore the integrity of our immigration system.  I am proud to support the President’s bold piece of legislation, which builds upon the work we did in Congress with our Farm Workforce Modernization Act, the American Dream and Promise Act, and my Immigrant Witness and Victim Protection Act, which provides protections to cooperating victims and witnesses of crime.  The U.S. Citizenship Act will allow us to continue our work for the security of America, and our fight for an immigration system that reflects the values of our home on the Central Coast, our nation of immigrants, and a government charged with providing people the opportunity to fulfill their American Dream.”


The U.S. Citizenship Act:

Provides pathways to citizenship and strengthen labor protections

  • Creates an earned roadmap to citizenship for undocumented individuals
  • Keeps families together
  • Promotes immigrant and refugee integration and citizenship
  • Grows our economy
  • Protects workers from exploitation and improve the employment verification process.

Prioritizes smart border controls

  • Supplements existing border resources with technology and infrastructure
  • Manages the border and protects border communities
  • Cracks down on criminal organizations

Addresses root causes of migration

  • Addresses the underlying caucus of migration
  • Improves the immigration courts and protect vulnerable individuals
  • Supports asylum seekers and other vulnerable populations.


There are multiple pathways for the U.S. Citizenship Act to progress through the House, including through a formal committee hearing and markup, through the reconciliation process, or even using a piecemeal approach.