Daily Digit: First- and second-generation immigrants make up 12% of Congress

Daily Digit is the story behind the numbers that make our world work. Today we’re looking at the members of Congress. Approximately 12 percent of members of Congress are immigrants or children of immigrants. There are 12 foreign-born members, of which only one is Republican. Democrats account for 39 of the 53 members of Congress with at least one immigrant parent. First- or second-generation immigrants represent 23 states, with California having the most, and they come from various regions throughout the world. Over the course of American history, there have been 413 foreign-born Americans that have served in Congress, out of 12,000 total. For this reason, the debate over America’s immigration laws is deeply personal for some members.