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Congresswoman Escobar and Congressman Valadao Introduce Legislation to Keep American Families Together

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Congressman David Valadao (CA-21) introduced the American Families United Act. This bipartisan legislation is designed to preserve and promote family unity by amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to help millions of U.S. citizens reunite with their loved ones.

The American Families United Act was introduced during the 116th Congress by Congresswoman Escobar and was inspired by the story of Edgar Falcon, an El Pasoan and constituent of Texas’ 16th Congressional District. Edgar married his wife Maricruz on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2013 after Maricruz was refused a visa. Since then – and amidst the coronavirus pandemic – Edgar has traveled between his family’s home in Ciudad Juarez and his job in El Paso.  

“For decades, families like Edgar’s have been forced to live apart from one another due to our broken immigration system,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “Americans recognize that it is in our country’s best interests to restore legal pathways for immigrants and keep families together, and the bipartisan American Families United Act is a critical step in the right direction. I look to working with my colleagues to advance this crucial legislation as we work with the Biden administration to reenvision and finally transform our broken immigration system.”

“Without a fair process to give parents and spouses of American citizens an opportunity to obtain legal status, millions of immigrants live in constant fear of being separated from their families,” said Congressman Valadao. “This bill will allow American families to stay together while undocumented spouses living in the United States go through the immigration system. Our immigration policy must encourage families to come out of the shadows and earn citizenship through the proper channels.”

“I thank Congresswoman Escobar for her continued support of our families with this bipartisan bill,” said Edgar Falcon, American Families United President and El Pasoan. “Our members are extremely grateful for her leadership, as well as the leadership of Congressman Valadao. We call on the Biden administration and Members of Congress to support this bill because Americans have the right to marry for love without being forced to choose between marriage and our country.”

“Families like those of our fellow Teamster Jason Rochester have sought to go through the proper immigration channels to make things right,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “But given the pathetic state of the nation’s immigration laws, they are left with no good alternatives. Tearing families apart is un-American. But Congress can change it.”

The American Families United Act would:

  • Protect the rights and interests of U.S. citizens in our immigration system, and 
  • Provide the Attorney General and the Department of Homeland Security Secretary discretion to allow certain individuals to be reunited in the United States.

This legislation is endorsed by American Families United, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

To view the bill text, click here.

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