FWD.us Launches 2023 Texas Bipartisan Immigration Reform Partnerships with Leading State Business Organizations

AUSTIN, TX — FWD.us announced the continuation of its bipartisan partnerships with leading Texas business organizations and trade associations to support immigration reform efforts that will help grow the economy and address workforce challenges.

It is vital that Texas look to support our state’s immigrant workforce, as they make up 23% of Texas’ labor force and the state continues to face a workforce shortage. Already, immigrants in Texas help power major sectors of our economy. With 3.3 million immigrant workers, Texas boasts America’s second-largest immigrant labor force. To support Texas’ economy, our lawmakers must enact policy solutions that bolster these contributions and our workforce and economy in the process.

FWD.us is proud to bring together leaders from Texas business groups and industry associations to support the state’s immigrant workforce and expand commonsense pro-immigration initiatives that support both the economy and families in Texas. As with previous years, the bipartisan partnerships will connect community leaders to advocate for commonsense immigration reform and work to amplify the stories of Texas immigrant workers and entrepreneurs. The partnership will primarily focus on amplifying these stories, advocating for pro-economic immigration reform at the state and federal level, and collaborating to find solutions to support immigrant workers, business owners, and all that rely on them in every far corner of Texas.

FWD.us Regional Government Affairs Director Zaira Garcia, said, “I am excited to continue working with these leading organizations to support immigrants in Texas, our workforce, and our economy. Immigrants are a pivotal part of the prosperity and success of the state’s communities and economy, but bipartisan commonsense reform is needed so we can invest in the full potential of our immigrant community. I am thankful that these Texas leaders are standing with FWD.us to support and amplify the stories, skills, and many contributions that the 3.3 million immigrant workers bring to the Lone Star State.”

Amy Graham, President and CEO, Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, said, “One in five workers in Texas is foreign-born, and more than half of the landscaping industry in Texas today is comprised of foreign-born individuals. The Texas Nursery and Landscape Association (TNLA) is proud to partner with FWD.us and other leaders from across Texas to work toward commonsense immigration and visa reform to address the industry workforce shortage. Together, we make up an essential part of the movement to improve the immigration system while strengthening our state’s economy.”

Glenn Hamer, President and CEO, Texas Association of Business, said, “The Texas Association of Business (TAB) understands how extensive and significant the contributions that immigrants bring to the Texas economy are. The immigrant workforce in Texas annually contributes more than $119 billion to our economy. Immigrants’ vast contributions have helped the Texas Economy achieve the ninth largest economy in the world and we must continue advocating for solutions to remain a global powerhouse. TAB is excited to highlight the importance immigrants have on the Texas business community and work toward bipartisan immigration system reforms that benefit both workers, employers, and the community more broadly.”

Taylor Landin, Sr. VP and Chief Policy Officer, Greater Houston Partnership, said, “The Houston region thrives with diversity, as nearly one in four Houstonians is born outside of the U.S. Foreign-born workers are vital to keeping the Houston economy strong. By working with FWD.us and other Texas partners, we can continue to amplify and support the bipartisan movement to improve the immigration system and ensure a strong future for all residents in the Houston region.”

John McCord, Executive Director, Texas Retailers Association, said, “The Texas Retailers Association looks forward to partnering with FWD.us to continue fortifying our workforce and economy. The retailers in Texas depend on the 3.3 million immigrant workers filling the gaps of the workforce shortage and contributing to the Lone Star State’s economy. We hope to join other Texas leaders in this movement to highlight the important impact of immigrants on our industry and communities in Texas.”

Dave Petersen, Interim President & CEO, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, said, “Immigrants are a significant portion of our community’s workforce and utilizing talent from across the globe is vital to our economic strength and continued prosperity. We are pleased to continue our partnership with FWD.us to help address challenges facing our members, including workforce shortages. We see commonsense, bipartisan immigration reform as a much-needed solution for San Antonio, Texas, and our nation, and believe that working together with other leaders throughout the state will help drive implementation of bipartisan policies that benefit us all.”

Daniel Silva, President and CEO, Rio Grande Valley Partnership, said, “The Rio Grande Valley Partnership (RGVP) is proud to partner once again with this bipartisan group of community and industry leaders in Texas working to improve the immigration system in our region of the Lone Star State. 1.1 million workers are undocumented immigrants, representing nearly 8 percent of the total workforce in Texas. RGVP seeks to grow and work for the economic needs of the business community and is excited to continue that work by being part of the movement with FWD.us.”

Melissa Stewart, Senior Executive Director, Texas Restaurant Association, said, “The Texas restaurant industry is rich in diversity and cultural heritage because of immigration. Foreign-born workers not only make up 22 percent of the restaurant workforce, but they also start and operate countless foodservice businesses that make our industry so special. The Texas Restaurant Association is thrilled to be working with our partners at FWD.us on commonsense, bipartisan immigration reform that will expand our economy and allow the Lone Star State’s restaurants to remain leaders in the world.”

Chris Wallace, President and CEO, North Texas Commission, said, “The North Texas Commission is proud to partner once again with FWD.us to champion the bipartisan movement to improve the immigration system and amplify the voices of Texas immigrants, who make up nearly one-quarter of our entire labor force. We continue to be inspired by the immigrant members of our communities who serve our state every day. We maintain the spirit of this joint mission to ensure commonsense immigration reform brings prosperity and economic growth to our state.”

Justin Yancy, President, Texas Business Leadership Council, said, “The Texas Business Leadership Council is excited to be partnering with FWD.us again to draw attention to the key role immigrants play in the labor force of the Lone Star State. Employers across Texas want to be part of the change by amplifying the voices of immigrant workers fighting to embody the American Dream. Our leadership in this movement speaks to our appreciation of all immigrant entrepreneurs in Texas. Partnering with FWD.us offers us the opportunity to ensure our message is heard across our state.”

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