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Open Letters

Texans for Economic Growth Public Comment Opposing Citizenship Fee Hike


December 16, 2019


To: Samantha Deshommes

Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division

Office of Policy and Strategy

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Department of Homeland Security

20 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Washington DC 20529


From: Stan Marek, on behalf of Texans for Economic Growth

Marek Brothers

3539 Oak Forest Drive

Houston, Texas 77018


Re: Notice of Proposed Rule: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements - DHS Docket No. USCIS-2019-0010


Dear Chief Deshommes,


Thank you for the opportunity to submit a comment for USCIS-2019-0010 “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements.” Texans for Economic Growth  (TEG), a coalition of more than 80 Texas businesses and associations dedicated to recognizing and supporting the positive impact that immigrants have on the Texas economy as business owners, taxpayers, and consumers strongly opposes this rule.


We understand the critical role that the nearly 5 million immigrant residents of Texas play in our economy. Texas immigrants hold an incredible spending power of over $109 billion and pay nearly $35 billion in taxes.[1] Increasing the cost of citizenship by 83 percent, in addition to increasing the fees for green cards, DACA renewals, asylum applications, and more, makes no economic sense.


The proposed rule would negatively affect approximately 700,000 lawful permanent residents in Texas who are eligible for citizenship by creating a financial barrier that would make citizenship prohibitively expensive.[2] Not only would it deny these long-standing residents and their families the opportunity to fully integrate into the social and economic fabric of our state and country, it would deny our economy the increased economic output they would bring through naturalizing. Research has shown the clear connection between naturalization and increased economic output. A 2015 Urban Institute study found that if half of the eligible immigrant population of the United States naturalized, the increased earnings and consumer demand could boost GDP by $37-$52 billion per year.[3]


These proposed changes would damage the economic prospects for our state and our country, therefore, TEG opposes this fee increase.


As business leaders, we understand the significant positive impact immigrants have in Texas and nationally. Creating an additional barrier for immigrants to become fully integrated and participating members of our society and economy is in direct opposition of what we stand for.



Texans for Economic Growth





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Texans for Economic Growth Urges Action on Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act

July 17, 2019

Texas Congressional Delegation

United States Capitol

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senators and Members of Congress:


Texans for Economic Growth, a coalition of more than 60 Texas businesses and associations dedicated to promoting common-sense immigration reforms that strengthen our economy, lauds the House of Representatives for passing the bipartisan Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 on Wednesday, July 10. In particular, we applaud the bipartisan leadership of the 22 members of the Texas delegation in the House who co-sponsored the bill. Now we turn our attention to the companion bill and urge the full Senate to join with the 34 bipartisan Senate cosponsors and pass this legislation.


For our economy to continue to thrive we must attract and retain the best talent. Under our current system, highly skilled immigrants are experiencing long wait times for green cards, resulting in these immigrants looking to raise their families and take their talent and business to other countries where the process is more efficient. 


As business leaders, we are grateful for Senator John Cornyn’s leadership in cosponsoring this bill, and urge the members of the Senate to support this important step in reforming our immigration system and ensuring Texas and the U.S. are globally competitive, by voting to pass this bill. The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 addresses the decades-long wait times for applicants from places like India, China, and the Philippines by eliminating caps for employment-based visas and raising the family visa cap from 7 percent to 15 percent. This legislation will help create an immigration system that ensures the most talented workers are able to work in the United States.


For the Texas business community, there is no better time than the present to recognize and support the positive impact immigrants have on the economy. Voting for the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 will show our business leaders that Congress is ready to work and look at immigration through an economic lens.



Texans for Economic Growth

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Texans for Economic Growth Letter to Texas Congressional Delegation

June 4, 2019


Texas Congressional Delegation

United States Capitol

Washington, D.C.

Dear Senators and Congressmen:


As a coalition of Texas businesses and associations dedicated to promoting common-sense immigration reforms that strengthen our economy, we urge the Texas delegation of the U.S. Congress to support legislation giving permanent protections to Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. These bills are an economic imperative and would allow these immigrants, many of whom have lived in Texas for decades, to continue to contribute to our labor force and tax base, start new businesses that create jobs, and pursue their education.


Nationwide, under the proposed Dream and Promise Act, there are 2.5 million Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. According to New American Economy, in Texas there are over 216,000 DACA eligible residents, 93.2 percent of whom are employed and active in the labor force. At the same time, almost 15 percent of the 318,000 immigrants nationwide who hold TPS, a designation given to people fleeing violence or natural disaster in their home country, reside in Texas. Combined, Texas Dreamers and TPS holders pay $820.5 million in taxes and hold over $3 billion in total spending power, making them crucial contributors to our state’s economy.


This Administration has announced plans to terminate both programs, and while legal challenges have temporarily stopped that from happening, these immigrants could soon face deportation. That uncertainty hurts both Dreamers and TPS holders and the communities that they are a part of. Economically, this is a scenario we simply cannot afford.


As business leaders, we cannot allow politics to stand in the way of economic growth. That is why three months ago, more than 85 Texas business leaders signed the Texas Compact, a set of principles outlining our immigration priorities, to ensure that both Washington DC and Austin hear our perspective on this issue. Following that, we successfully advocated to protect tuition equity for immigrant students in Texas this session. That was an important step in recognizing the value that Dreamers and TPS holders hold in our communities. But only Congress has the power to enact a real and permanent solution. We call on you to protect DACA and TPS holders now.


To compete globally, Texas needs federal immigration policies that reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state. It’s time for the entire Texas delegation to put politics aside and stand up for our young people and for our economy.



Texans for Economic Growth

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News & Updates

It's time to end labor shortages for Texas farmers

Corpus Christi Caller-Times

January 28, 2020

Authored by Dante Galeazzi, President and CEO of the Texas International Produce Association, TEG Coalition Member


Presidential Candidates Should Debate Sensible Stances on Immigration Reform


January 27, 2020

Authored by Norman Adams, President, Adams Insurance Service, Inc., TEG Coalition member

Texas needs Dreamers to continue contributing to our economic growth
The Dallas Morning News

November 14, 2019

Authored by Chris Wallace,  Chief Executive, North Texas Commission, TEG Coalition Member

Looking for a Solution in the Trump Era, Business Leaders Gather in Houston for Immigration Summit

Construction Citizen and Quorum Report

October 7, 2019


Stick to the facts on immigration issues

Austin American-Statesman

September 27, 2019

Authored by Chelsie Kramer, State Organizer for New American Economy on behalf of the TEG Steering Committee

Immigration reform could boost Longview's labor force for years to come

Longview News-Journal

September 21, 2019

Authored by Kelly Hall, President and CEO, Longview Chamber of Commerce, TEG Coalition Member


Hiring immigrants is critical to my tech company's success

Austin American-Statesman

September 1, 2019

Authored by Ahmed Moledina, President and CEO at SOAL Technologies, LLC, TEG Coalition Member


The Critical Role Undocumented Immigrants Play In Texas' Economy


August 29, 2019

Authored by Norman Adams, President, Adams Insurance Service, Inc., TEG Coalition member


Immigrant workers are why my health care business has grown


July 24, 2019

Authored by Adam Lampert, CEO, Manchester Place Care Homes and Cambridge Caregivers, TEG Coalition member


Unfair immigration policies are hurting economic growth in Texas

The Dallas Morning News

July 15, 2019

Authored by Chris Wallace, President and CEO of the North Texas Commission, TEG Coalition member


Houston business leaders' solution to the immigration crisis [Opinion]

The Houston Chronicle and TexasGOPVote

July 13, 2019

Authored by Stan Marek, CEO of  MAREK, TEG Coalition member

Dead in the Water: Legislation to End In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students Gains no Traction at Texas Legislature


May 9, 2019


CEO of Ft. Bend Chamber of Commerce: 'Dreamers benefit Texas' [Opinion]

Houston Chronicle

April 4, 2019

Authored by Keri Schmidt, President and CEO of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce,  TEG Coalition member


Lawmakers and Business Leaders Discuss Commonsense Immigration Reform at Rational Middle of Immigration Video Screening


April 2, 2019


Why Leaders In The Construction Industry Say Immigration Reform Could Solve Houston’s Workforce Woes

Houston Public Media

March 21, 2019


EDITORIAL: Former president sets right note amidst ongoing immigration war

Waco Tribune-Herald

March 20, 2019


It’s the workforce, stupid. Why Texas business is gearing up to fight for immigrants

The Dallas Morning News 

March 19, 2019


Reducing immigration would deal big blow to local economy, study finds

The Houston Chronicle

March 7, 2019


Editorial: Lawmakers should stand up for the Dream Act

Austin American Statesman

February 28, 2019


Coalición advierte sobre impacto económico de cancelación de Acta del Sueño

Telemundo Austin

February 27, 2019


Report: Repealing In-State Tuition for ‘Dreamers’ Would Cost Texas $400M a Year

Capital Tonight on Spectrum News

February 26, 2019


Analysis: Killing in-state tuition for ‘Dreamers’ would cost Texas $400 million a year

Austin American Statesman

February 26, 2019


New Business Coalition, Texans for Economic Growth, and Texas Business Immigration Coalition Launch Texas Compact on Immigration

Austin Business Journal

February 26, 2019

TXSIP Signs Texas Compact on Immigration

Texas GOP Vote

February 26, 2019


Study: Repeal of in-state tuition for undocumented students could cost Texas $400 million annually

Quorum Report

February 26, 2019


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Press Release



FEBRUARY 26, 2019  


New Business Coalition, Texans for Economic Growth, and Texas Business Immigration Coalition Launch Texas Compact on Immigration


More than 65 signatories call for immigration reform and support in-state tuition for all residents

New research finds Texas stands to lose $400 million in economic activity should in-state tuition be repealed


AUSTIN — Today marks the launch of Texans for Economic Growth, a coalition of 50 Texas business leaders and associations dedicated to recognizing and supporting the positive impact immigrants have on the Texas economy as business owners, taxpayers, and consumers. With its launch, the Coalition partnered with the Texas Business Immigration Coalition (TBIC) to release the Texas Compact on Immigration, a set of principles signed by more than 65 Texas business leaders and groups to call for smart immigration policies at the federal level as well as statewide policies that recognize the valuable contributions immigrants make to the state. Read the full Compact here.


During the 86th Legislature, Texans for Economic Growth will focus its efforts on protecting the Texas economy from the harmful effects of anti-immigrant legislation. In particular, the Coalition will oppose efforts to increase public college and university tuition for certain long-term Texas resident students. Under current Texas law, all students who have lived in the state for three years and graduate from a Texas high school are eligible for in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities. This law, established in 2001 and championed by then-Governor Rick Perry, has been in place for nearly two decades and has helped young Texans get the education they need to help Texas’ workforce and economy grow and thrive.


Any efforts to create a new category of Texas residents who are charged out-of-state tuition will not only increase hardship on the affected students but will also harm the Texas economy. New research from NAE finds that if residency requirements were changed, it could lead to nearly $400 million in lost economic activity for Texas each year. Specifically, the research found that:


  • Since HB 1403 went into effect, affidavit students have directly added tens of billions of dollars to the Texas economy. After graduating, students who benefitted from HB 1403 earned $19.7 billion more than they would have without a college degree.

  • During the same time period, that increase in earnings resulted in more than $17.0 billion in additional economic activity in Texas.

  • Without these new graduates, Texas could lose up to $213.6 million in wage earnings in just one year.

  • The loss in additional wages could cost the Texas economy $184.2 million in additional spending power annually.


“As the State Chamber of Commerce, The Texas Association of Business represents members who employ hundreds of thousands of Texans and produce $8 billion annually in business. We support Texans for Economic Growth on their mission to support meaningful immigration reform through an economics lens that will positively affect the Texas business community and is a necessity for growing Texas’ economy,” said Jeff Moseley, President & CEO, Texas Association of Business.


“As a network of Texas CEOs and senior business leaders, we support thoughtful and comprehensive solutions to tough issues like immigration reform,” said Justin Yancy, President of the Texas Business Leadership Council. “We were compelled to join Texans for Economic Growth and sign the Texas Compact on Immigration because we know the repeal of in-state tuition for law-abiding students would be detrimental to Texas’ long term global competitiveness. The TBLC believes it’s important to provide Texas’ elected leaders with this unique view of the potential economic outcomes of legislation.”


“Today a group of dynamic business leaders will come together to voice why immigrant-friendly policies will help ensure the ongoing vitality of Texas’ economy,” said John Feinblatt, President of New American Economy. “These leaders are speaking up just as the Texas Legislature is considering bills to take away access to higher education for thousands of promising young immigrants that want nothing more than to study and contribute.”


“The Texas Business Immigration Coalition supports the Texas Compact on Immigration,” said Juan Carlos Cerda, Outreach Manager of Texas Business Immigration Coalition. “As business leaders, we believe that sensible immigration reform is necessary to drive the best talent to Texas, provide Texas companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent that they need, and keep Texas businesses globally competitive. Supporting sensible immigration reform is economically important, politically smart, and morally right.”


Visit to learn more.

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