Immigrants and children of immigrants make up at least 15% of the 118th Congress

Immigrants and children of immigrants account for at least 15% of the 118th Congress, a share that has steadily grown over the past three Congresses. At least 81 voting members of Congress are foreign born or have at least one parent who was born in another country, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of members’ biographical information gathered from the Congressional Research Service, news articles, congressional offices and other sources.

There are currently 18 foreign-born voting members of Congress, including 17 in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate – Democrat Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who was born in Japan. Together, they represent 3% of all voting members across both legislative chambers. At least 63 additional lawmakers – 47 representatives and 16 senators – have one or more immigrant parent. Overall, these children of immigrants make up 12% of the House and Senate.

How we did this

A chart showing that the Foreign-born share of the U.S. Congress at 3% remains below historical highs

Both the number and share of foreign-born members in the current Congress are the same as in the previous Congress. The share remains substantially below historical highs. For example, about 8% of lawmakers were immigrants in the 50th Congress of 1887-88, during a broader wave of immigration from Europe to the United States. The share of immigrants in the current Congress is also far below the foreign-born share of the U.S. population as a whole, which was 13.6% in 2021.

Children of immigrants, though, have increased their representation in Congress in recent years. Their share has increased from 10% (or 52 members) in the 115th Congress of 2017-18, when the Center began tracking this biographical information.  

Looking at all 81 immigrants and children of immigrants in the current Congress, Democrats make up a much larger portion of the group than Republicans. Among the 17 senators who are foreign born or have an immigrant parent, 12 are Democrats, four are Republicans (Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Jim Risch of Idaho, John Thune of South Dakota and Ted Cruz of Texas) and one is an independent – Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whose father emigrated from Poland.

A bar chart showing that Nearly half of all immigrants and children of immigrants in the 118th Congress represent Western states

In the House, 48 of the 64 lawmakers who are immigrants or children of immigrants are Democrats, while 16 are Republicans. The latter group includes New York Republican Rep. George Santos, who is the son of Brazilian immigrants. However, key aspects of Santos’ biography have been called into question.

Immigrants and children of immigrants represent 25 states in Congress. About a quarter of these members (26%) represent California – the largest share representing any one state. Smaller shares represent Florida (9%), Illinois (7%) and New York (6%).

There are also regional trends. Almost half of members who are immigrants or children of immigrants (48%) hail from states in the West – 39 members in all. The South ranks as the second-most common region represented by this group, with 17 lawmakers, followed by the Northeast (13) and the Midwest (12).

A bar chart showing that Most immigrants or children of immigrants in Congress trace roots to Central America, Europe or Asia

In a change from previous Congresses, Central America has surpassed Europe as the most common origin region for lawmakers who are immigrants or the children of immigrants. Three-in-ten members in this group claim heritage in Central American countries. About a quarter or fewer have roots in Europe (26%), Asia (17%) and the Caribbean (16%).

Twenty-two lawmakers who are immigrants or have at least one immigrant parent have roots in Mexico, by far the largest number from any one country. The next most common countries of origin are Cuba with nine lawmakers, Germany with six and India with five. (Some lawmakers in this analysis are tallied under more than one country and region because their parents emigrated to the U.S. from different nations.)

A world map showing the birthplace or parentage of immigrants and children of immigrants in the 118th Congress; Mexican heritage is most common

Of the new members of Congress this year, Democratic Rep. Becca Balint, whose Hungarian father survived the Holocaust, is the first woman and openly gay person to represent Vermont in Congress. And Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia of California, who emigrated from Peru at age 5, is the first openly gay immigrant to serve in Congress.

Under the U.S. Constitution, an immigrant taking office in the House must be a U.S. citizen for seven years or more, be age 25 or older and live in the state where they are elected. Nine years of citizenship are required to serve in the Senate, and the member must be 30 or older and live in the represented state when elected.

If you know of an additional congressional legislator not included on our list, email

Immigrants, children of immigrants in the 118th U.S. Congress

NameImmigrant or child of an immigrantPlace of originPartyOfficeState
Balint, BeccaChildFather: HungaryDemocratRepresentativeVT
Barragán, NanetteChildBoth parents: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeCA
Bennet, MichaelChildMother: PolandDemocratSenatorCO
Bera, AmiChildBoth parents: IndiaDemocratRepresentativeCA
Bice, StephanieChildFather: IranRepublicanRepresentativeOK
Blumenthal, RichardChildFather: GermanyDemocratSenatorCT
Boyle, BrendanChildFather: IrelandDemocratRepresentativePA
Burgess, MichaelChildFather: CanadaRepublicanRepresentativeTX
Caraveo, YadiraChildBoth parents: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeCO
Carbajal, SaludImmigrantMexicoDemocratRepresentativeCA
Casar, GregChildBoth parents: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeTX
Cherfilus-McCormick, SheilaChildBoth parents: HaitiDemocratRepresentativeFL
Chu, JudyChildMother: ChinaDemocratRepresentativeCA
Ciscomani, JuanImmigrantMexicoRepublicanRepresentativeAZ
Clarke, YvetteChildBoth parents: JamaicaDemocratRepresentativeNY
Correa, LouChildBoth parents: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeCA
Cruz, TedChildFather: CubaRepublicanSenatorTX
Cuellar, HenryChildFather: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeTX
Cárdenas, TonyChildBoth parents: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeCA
DeLauro, RosaChildFather: ItalyDemocratRepresentativeCT
Diaz-Balart, MarioChildBoth parents: CubaRepublicanRepresentativeFL
Duckworth, TammyChildMother: ThailandDemocratSenatorIL
Durbin, DickChildMother: LithuaniaDemocratSenatorIL
Eshoo, AnnaChildMother: Armenia; Father: IranDemocratRepresentativeCA
Espaillat, AdrianoImmigrantDominican RepublicDemocratRepresentativeNY
Frost, Maxwell AlejandroChildMother: CubaDemocratRepresentativeFL
Gallego, RubenChildMother: Colombia; Father: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeAZ
Garcia, MikeChildBoth parents: MexicoRepublicanRepresentativeCA
Garcia, RobertImmigrantPeruDemocratRepresentativeCA
García, JesúsImmigrantMexicoDemocratRepresentativeIL
Gimenez, CarlosImmigrantCubaRepublicanRepresentativeFL
Gomez, JimmyChildBoth parents: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeCA
Grijalva, RaúlChildFather: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeAZ
Harris, AndyChildMother: Ukraine; Father: HungaryRepublicanRepresentativeMD
Heinrich, MartinChildFather: GermanyDemocratSenatorNM
Hirono, MazieImmigrantJapanDemocratSenatorHI
Horsford, StevenChildMother: TrinidadDemocratRepresentativeNV
Houlahan, ChrissyChildFather: PolandDemocratRepresentativePA
Hoyer, StenyChildFather: DenmarkDemocratRepresentativeMD
Jayapal, PramilaImmigrantIndiaDemocratRepresentativeWA
Khanna, RoChildBoth parents: IndiaDemocratRepresentativeCA
Kilmer, DerekChildMother: GermanyDemocratRepresentativeWA
Kim, AndyChildBoth parents: South KoreaDemocratRepresentativeNJ
Kim, YoungImmigrantSouth KoreaRepublicanRepresentativeCA
Krishnamoorthi, RajaImmigrantIndiaDemocratRepresentativeIL
Lieu, TedImmigrantTaiwanDemocratRepresentativeCA
Luna, Anna PaulinaChildFather: MexicoRepublicanRepresentativeFL
Malliotakis, NicoleChildMother: Cuba; Father: GreeceRepublicanRepresentativeNY
Menendez, RobertChildBoth parents: CubaDemocratSenatorNJ
Meng, GraceChildBoth parents: TaiwanDemocratRepresentativeNY
Mooney, AlexanderChildMother: CubaRepublicanRepresentativeWV
Napolitano, GraceChildMother: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeCA
Neguse, JoeChildBoth parents: EritreaDemocratRepresentativeCO
Omar, IlhanImmigrantSomaliaDemocratRepresentativeMN
Ossoff, JonChildMother: AustraliaDemocratSenatorGA
Padilla, AlexChildBoth parents: MexicoDemocratSenatorCA
Peters, GaryChildMother: FranceDemocratSenatorMI
Pérez, Marie GluesenkampChildFather: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeWA
Ramirez, DeliaChildBoth parents: GuatemalaDemocratRepresentativeIL
Risch, JamesChildFather: GermanyRepublicanSenatorID
Rubio, MarcoChildBoth parents: CubaRepublicanSenatorFL
Ruiz, RaulImmigrantMexicoDemocratRepresentativeCA
Salazar, Maria ElviraChildBoth parents: CubaRepublicanRepresentativeFL
Salinas, AndreaChildFather: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeOR
Sanders, BernieChildFather: PolandIndependentSenatorVT
Santos, GeorgeChildBoth parents: BrazilRepublicanRepresentativeNY
Sarbanes, JohnChildMother: UKDemocratRepresentativeMD
Schakowsky, JaniceChildMother: Russia; Father: LithuaniaDemocratRepresentativeIL
Schatz, BrianChildFather: CanadaDemocratSenatorHI
Spartz, VictoriaImmigrantUkraineRepublicanRepresentativeIN
Steel, MichelleImmigrantSouth KoreaRepublicanRepresentativeCA
Strickland, MarilynImmigrantSouth KoreaDemocratRepresentativeWA
Sánchez, LindaChildBoth parents: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeCA
Thanedar, ShriImmigrantIndiaDemocratRepresentativeMI
Thune, JohnChildMother: CanadaRepublicanSenatorSD
Tlaib, RashidaChildBoth parents: Palestinian territoriesDemocratRepresentativeMI
Torres, NormaImmigrantGuatemalaDemocratRepresentativeCA
Valadao, DavidChildBoth parents: PortugalRepublicanRepresentativeCA
Vargas, JuanChildBoth parents: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeCA
Vasquez, GabeChildBoth parents: MexicoDemocratRepresentativeNM
Wyden, RonChildBoth parents: GermanyDemocratSenatorOR

Note: Data as of Feb. 28, 2023.
Source: Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, news reports, genealogical records andmembers’ published comments, and statements from congressional websites and staff.

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