FWD.us Launches 2024 Texas Bipartisan Immigration Reform Partnerships with Leading State Business Organizations

AUSTIN, TX — FWD.us today announced the continuation and expansion of its bipartisan partnerships with Texas business organizations and trade associations aimed at championing immigration reform that promotes economic growth and workforce development in the state. 

Immigrants make up nearly a quarter of Texas’ workforce. To bolster our workforce and support our economy, we need to fix our immigration system and expand opportunities for immigrants to continue contributing to the Lone Star State. As Texas faces a severe workforce shortage, with just 80 available workers for every 100 open jobs, Texas businesses are in dire need of workforce solutions. These bipartisan partnerships represent the overwhelming support and urgent need for immigration reform policies that bolster economic growth and cultivate a strong and inclusive workforce. 

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, these bipartisan partnerships will connect community leaders to advocate for commonsense immigration reform and amplify the stories of Texas immigrant workers and entrepreneurs. The partnership will primarily focus on elevating 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 Relations Director Zaira Garcia said, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working with our bipartisan partners to advocate for much-needed and long-overdue reform. Together, we will continue to shine a spotlight on the vital contributions of immigrants to the Texas community and work towards collaborative solutions that support the success of the Lone Star State and address our broken immigration system.”

Katie Ferrier, Vice President of Public Policy, Education & Workforce Development, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce said, “San Antonio continues to face labor shortages and inflation burdens. The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce believes a key solution to those problems lies in finding more legal pathways for immigrants in our community to work and contribute to our local economy. We are grateful to FWD.us for the support in collaborating with business leaders across the state on immigration policies that promote a stronger workforce and create opportunities that benefit us all.”

Amy Graham, President and CEO, Texas Nursery & Landscape Association, said, “Immigrants play a vital role in the Texas landscape industries' continued growth and vitality. By joining forces with fellow stakeholders in this partnership, we look forward to supporting meaningful immigration and visa reform that addresses our workforce crisis and economic needs.”

Glenn Hamer, President and CEO, Texas Association of Business said, “Participating in this partnership year after year is a significant opportunity for us to advocate for policies that align with our vision for supporting opportunity, innovation, and growth in the Lone Star State. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with these esteemed Texas organizations as we work with policymakers to develop sensible immigration solutions that meet the dire workforce needs of Texas businesses and create an environment where all Texans can contribute and thrive.” 

Travis Krogman, Vice President of State and Federal Relations, Austin Chamber of Commerce said, “The Austin Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to join forces with other Texas business leaders to support immigration reform that fosters economic growth and workforce development. This partnership will help tell the story of immigrants and those that rely on them, in Austin and throughout Texas, to help spur long-overdue reform. Austin businesses, and those throughout the state, rely on our immigrant neighbors and we need to find ways to foster these contributions.”

John McCord, Executive Director of the Texas Retailers Association, said, “The Texas Retailers Association looks forward to another year of FWD.us partnership. Texas retailers rely on our immigrant workforce and support solutions that help address our labor needs, and those of Texas' communities. We encourage Texas lawmakers to finally enact much-needed immigration reform to support the business community and state as a whole.”

Taylor Landin, Chief Policy Officer, Greater Houston Partnership, said, “Immigrant communities are integral parts of Houston's social fabric and economy. Through our renewed partnership with FWD.us, we look forward to continuing our work supporting and engaging with diverse communities as they bring fresh skill sets to our workforce and enhance many of Houston's industries. As we face workforce and economic challenges, Congress must advance sensible and necessary immigration reforms.”

Mia Romero, Director of Advocacy, El Paso Chamber of Commerce, said, “Immigrants are pivotal to the El Paso region’s economic prosperity, and through this collaboration, we are well positioned to continue championing reforms that reflect the unique needs and contributions of these community members to our workforce. We are grateful to be partnering with FWD.us this year to collaborate on sensible immigration solutions that will ensure a bright future for El Paso and beyond.”

Daniel Silva, President and CEO, Rio Grande Valley Partnership said, “Throughout my career in the Rio Grande Valley region, I have become attuned to the wants and needs of our residents and business owners. I can tell you that our residents recognize that immigrants are vital to a thriving economy. We look forward to our continued partnership with FWD.us to amplify our work and support essential and long overdue reform to help fix our broken immigration system.”

Kelsey Erickson Streufert, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Texas Restaurant Association said, “Immigrants are critical to our foodservice industry—Texas’ largest private sector employer. Not only do immigrants make up 22 percent of all restaurant and food services workers in Texas, but also they serve as critical job creators, suppliers, and customers. We are grateful to continue our collaboration with FWD.us to advocate for pro-growth immigration policies that will benefit restaurants and our entire state.”

Chris Wallace, President and CEO, North Texas Commission said, “In North Texas, our strength lies in our ability to welcome a diverse population into our workforce, and we are honored to be part of this immigration reform partnership. Approximately 1.3 million immigrants live in the North Texas area alone, many participating in key industries and strengthening our economy through their contributions. We look forward to advocating for immigration solutions that support our communities and enhance our region's competitiveness and prosperity on the national stage.” 

Justin Yancy, President, Texas Business Leadership Council said, “At the Texas Business Leadership Council, we recognize the vital role immigration plays in driving our state's economic prosperity. We approach this year's collaboration eager to leverage our collective expertise and influence to build consensus for policies that promote commonsense immigration reform and meet the workforce needs of Texas employers. The TBLC looks forward to working with FWD.us and our other partners to advance solutions that will benefit both our state and country.”

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