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 txcompact.org to learn more.