The Democratic Congress that will make crucial decisions about immigration to the United States has very few immigrants among its ranks.
A mere 3% of members came to this country from other shores.
That’s lower than the Congress of a century ago. And of two centuries ago. And much lower than the nation as a whole, where 14% of the population is foreign-born.
That’s according to new research by the Pew Research Center in Washington, where associate digital producer Sara Atske examined congressional records, genealogical documents, news stories, obituaries, and candidate statements to determine lawmakers’ parentage and birthplaces.
The 117th Congress has 18 foreign-born members: 17 House representatives and one senator, Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii), who was born in Japan.
The Constitution dictates that an immigrant taking office in the House must be a U.S. citizen for at least seven years and be at least 25 years old, while the Senate requires nine years of citizenship and an age of 30 or older.