Immigrants or children of immigrants make up at least 12% of Congress

Katherine Schaeffer & Drew DeSilver
Date of Publication: 
August, 2018
Source Organization: 
Pew Research Center

As the debate over the nation’s immigration laws continues on Capitol Hill, Congress has its own share of lawmakers for whom the immigrant experience is a personal one: At least 65 of the current 529 voting members of Congress (or 12%) are immigrants or the children of immigrants.

There are 12 foreign-born members of the 115th Congress – 11 representatives and one senator, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, who was born in Japan. At least 53 other members were born in the United States or its territories to at least one immigrant parent, including 38 in the House and 15 in the Senate, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of biographical information from the Congressional Research Service, news stories, and members’ official websites and genealogical records through Aug. 17.

View online


Schaeffer, K. & DeSilver, D. (2018). Immigrants or children of immigrants make up at least 12% of Congress. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Retrieved from