AUSTIN, TX – In yet another step in FWD.us’ efforts toward commonsense reform to fix our nation’s broken immigration system, FWD.us today announced an expansion of its work through new bipartisan partnerships with business organizations and trade associations in Texas. The partnerships will include a variety of engagements on immigration issues in Texas, including public forums, press events, association roundtables, and joint outreach to elected officials.
Immigration is critical to the economic success of Texas, and to our state’s standing as a leading global economy. Major sectors of our state’s economy, including the energy sector, agriculture, and real estate, are fueled by the work of immigrants, who are driving innovation, creating American jobs, and boosting economic growth. Immigrants in Texas also contribute billions in tax revenue at the federal, state, and local levels. Texas can continue leading the nation in a global economy, but only if we put in place the commonsense policies that build a state where immigrants of all backgrounds can thrive. Meanwhile, removing or dramatically reducing the number of immigrant workers from Texas’ economy would be disastrous, costing billions in lost revenue, growth, and job creation.
In 2020, FWD.us will continue to partner with business and economic leaders across the state who are actively working to advance sensible immigration reforms that will support Texas’ leading industries while keeping families together.
Regarding the new bipartisan partnerships, FWD.us Texas State Director Zaira Garcia said, “FWD.us is excited to continue expanding our immigration work in Texas, especially through these crucial partnerships. We hope that by working with local business leaders we can further highlight the impact immigration has on our state and broader economy, and drive meaningful reform at the state and federal levels in the near future.”
Chris Wallace, President and CEO of the North Texas Commission stated, “Immigrants help support Texas’ economy and are integral to the fabric of our communities. In the DFW area alone, there are nearly 1.39 million immigrant residents who pay an annual $10.6 billion in state and local taxes and hold $33.2 billion in spending power. We should be advocating for policies that build up our immigrant population and their contributions, not tear them down. The NTC is looking forward to continued work to reform this broken process.”
“Immigrants help support Texas’ economy, and are integral to the fabric of our state. Overall, 4.8 million immigrants in Texas paid $34.8 billion in taxes and had an economic footprint of $109.9 billion, according to an analysis of 2017 census data,” said Jeff Moseley, CEO of Texas Association of Business. “To have that kind of a robust economy, we also depend on a workforce, we depend on a workforce comprised of all the skills, those entry level workers all the way up to the highly skilled workers so we should be advocating for policies that build up our immigrant population and their contributions, not tear them down. Texas Association of Business is looking forward to working on reforming this broken process.”
Amy Graham, President and CEO of the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association stated, “There is no question Texas needs a better system to enable foreign workforce to supplement our domestic workforce shortfalls and power our state’s economy. In 2019, Texas businesses led the nation in certifying over 16,000 employee positions through the H-2B visa program in addition to certifying over 4,000 employee positions under the H-2A program. In partnering with FWD.us to improve these federal work visa programs, we are addressing some of the best ways to allow foreign workers to legally enter the United States, pay taxes, and remain law-abiding residents.”
“Immigration reform would benefit Texas and our nation, and partnering with FWD.us will take us one step closer toward that goal, ” said Melissa Stewart, Executive Director of the Greater Houston Restaurant Association. “Immigrants contribute to every sector of Texas’ economy and help strengthen our state. Texas is home to more than 4.7 million immigrants, the second largest population in the U.S., bringing with them economic growth, American job creation, innovation, and more. Twenty four percent of restaurant workers are foreign born, a higher percentage than the broader economy, and they are integral to the future of our industry.”