Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

Immigrant Labor Fuels Texas Economy, But GOP Leaders Don’t Get It

Texas’ economy needs more immigrants as workers, but Republican leaders continue to fight immigration as more jobs go unfilled.

According to an article by the Houston Chronicle, immigrants make up 24% of Houston’s population and 11% of the state’s population, and some contribute greatly to the state’s workforce.

“We need labor,” Glenn Hamer, president of the Texas Business Association, told the Houston Chronicle. “We have more jobs open than people to fill them. Every unemployed person could get a job and we’d still have hundreds of thousands of jobs open. The best and brightest people on the world want to come here and contribute, and we need them.”

Employment in the state hit a record high this year. According to the San Antonio Express-News, April was the ninth consecutive month of job growth in the state. In April, the number of employed Texans topped 14 million.

However, Republicans seem to have engaged in a war on immigration just to gain more votes. While historically supportive of legal pathways for immigrants, the current GOP leadership is increasingly silent or opposed, focusing instead on illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

This shift marks a departure from earlier Texas Republican views. Former President George W. Bush, a former Texas governor, championed immigration reform, calling the U.S. a “nation of immigrants” and lauding their contributions.

The change is largely attributed to the populist shift in the Republican Party, led by former President Donald Trump, who has often said that immigrants threaten the country.

As a result, Republicans are now reluctant to support legislation that expands immigrant worker programs for fear of backlash from anti-immigrant primary challengers. This has made it difficult to pass bipartisan legislation on the issue.

On Thursday, the Senate failed to advance bipartisan immigration legislation that would have balanced illegal immigration control with improvements to legal immigration programs. Almost every Republican, including Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, voted against it.

“There’s a cognitive dissonance happening where immigrants are clearly vital to the state’s economy but lawmakers prioritize anti-immigrant policy that creates fear and unwelcomeness in the community,” Victoria Francis, a deputy director at the American Immigration Council told the Houston Chronicle. “But even as we’ve seen these awful things happening, we’ve seen business allies really stepping up to talk about the benefits that come with newcomers, even in Texas.”

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Award-App Footer

Download our award-winning app