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Higgins Highlights the Role of Immigrants in America’s Story

Jun 26, 2019
Press Release
Congressman Calls Out Policy Decisions Denying Fundamental Rights to Refugees & the Failure to Address Comprehensive Immigration Reform

In remarks during a House Budget Committee hearing titled “Building A More Dynamic Economy: The Benefits of Immigration,”  Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) said, “I think one of the things that we’ve lost in this country is our national story; because it’s an exodus story.  For more than 250 years people fled persecution from all over the world. They crossed seas and deserts to the freedom found in the promised land.”

(To watch Rep. Higgins’ full remarks, click above or go to:

During questioning with Tom Jawetz, the Vice President for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, Higgins went on to say:

“This Administration has made policy decisions to deny fundamental rights to migrants and has unjustly separated families for acts that are not criminal violations.”

“Nearly one quarter of all new businesses in the United States are started by immigrants. Almost half of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants to America creating jobs for Americans.  Over half of the patents filed in the United States are filled by immigrants.”

“Despite the quantifiable economic benefits of immigration, why does this President, but in fairness, his predecessors, both Republican and Democrat, adopt an extreme hard line on immigration policy?”

Higgins followed up by addressing how illegal immigration is conflated with legal immigration, creating a negative perception of immigration generally.

Higgins noted that according to Moody’s Analytics: doubling the number of immigrants we take in each year – from 1 million to 2 million, would increase economic growth by 2% each year over the next 10 years. A report prepared by the Budget Committee further details the role of immigrants in strengthening America’s economy. 

In December Higgins wrote to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urging the State Department to reverse plans to cut refugee resettlement services and agencies. This week Higgins joined the House in approving emergency funding, which addresses immigration needs at our borders.