Open Letters

Texans for Economic Growth on the 10th Anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

 

June 15, 2022

 

Texas Congressional Delegation

United States Capitol

Washington, D.C.

Dear Senators and Congressmen:

 

Every year since our coalition was established in 2019, we have submitted open letters, participated in private meetings, held press conferences, webinars, and written countless OpEds in newspapers across the state, all in support of the 204,453 DACA-eligible Texans and 66,261 TPS holders who call Texas home.

 

In 2019, Texans for Economic Growth (TEG) launched with 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. Three years later, that number has more than doubled, with TEG now representing more than 125 Texas business leaders, including the Metro 8 chambers and statewide organizations like the Texas Association of Business and the Texas Business Leadership Council, urging for action on immigration.  

 

On this 10th anniversary of DACA, we again implore Congress to act so these hardworking Texas Dreamers and TPS holders, who hold a combined spending power of $4.6 billion and contribute $1.38 billion in taxes, know their future here in Texas is secure.

 

While TEG advocates for many commonsense immigration policies that reflect the economic needs of our state, passing legislation that creates a pathway to legal status or citizenship for Dreamers and TPS holders is important to our coalition. This will demonstrate to the business community that our policy leaders are ready to set politics aside and get to work on creating an immigration system that mirrors our values of being a welcoming state full of hardworking men and women.

 

Sincerely,

Texans for Economic Growth

Texans for Economic Growth Urges Legislative Action on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

 

June 19, 2020

 

Texas Congressional Delegation

United States Capitol

Washington, D.C.

Dear Senators and Congressmen:

 

Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled against the Administration’s move to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, affecting more than 109,000 young immigrants, their families, and our communities in Texas.

 

This welcome news offers relief to Dreamers who are serving crucial roles throughout our communities. Dreamers are integral community members, students, entrepreneurs, taxpayers, employees, job creators, and front line workers. In our fight against COVID-19, they are healthcare professionals, restaurateurs, and other essential workers. 

 

One year ago this month Texans for Economic Growth, a Coalition of nearly 100 Texas business leaders and associations dedicated to recognizing and supporting the positive impact that immigrants have on the Texas economy, sent you a letter urging to support legislation giving permanent protections to Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. While the SCOTUS ruling allows for temporary relief for Dreamers, we know the fight is not over.

 

At a time when the future of our great state and our nation relies on our ability to work together for common-sense solutions, we once again implore Congress to pass a DREAM Act today before we see the unfathomable effects of turning our backs on these young Americans who not only drive economic growth, but are vital members of our communities.  

 

Sincerely,

Texans for Economic Growth

Back to Top

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.

 

Sincerely,

Texans for Economic Growth

 

[1] https://www.newamericaneconomy.org/locations/texas/

[2] https://www.newamericaneconomy.org/issues/voting-demographics/

[3] https://www.urban.org/research/publication/economic-impact-naturalization-immigrants-and-cities

Back to Top

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.

 

Sincerely,

Texans for Economic Growth

Back to Top

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

Texans for Economic Growth

Back to Top