These are the 29 members of Congress born outside the US

July 15, 2019
In The News

President Donald Trump stepped into the simmering battle between newly elected progressive Democrats and establishment Democrats on Sunday, in a series of tweets bordering on xenophobia, suggesting that freshman progressive Democrats “...go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Though he did not mention them by name, the president was apparently aiming his tweets at freshmen Democratic congresswomen of color: Alexandra  Ocasio-Cortez, New York; Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Michigan; Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota; and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts. Of the four, only Omar was foreign-born, coming to the United States from Somalia. The four women have been among the most vocal critics of the administration’s handling of the border crisis – and a symbol of the Trump administration’s fractious relationship with Congress.

Omar is one of 29 congressional members who were born outside the United States – 24 representatives and five senators. Twenty-five are Democrats and four are Republicans. This total represents members who were either born outside the United States to parents from another country or those born in another country to American parents.

There are 14 congressional members who were born outside the United States, all of whom are Democrats, who became U.S. citizens. Thirteen of the 14 members of Congress born outside of the United States to non-American parents serve in the House of Representatives. Three of them are from Mexico – Salud Carbajal and Raul Ruiz (California) and Jesus Garcia (Illinois), and two are from India – Raja Krishnamoorthi (Illinois) and Pramila Jayapal (Washington). Other congressional members were born in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Taiwan, Poland, Ecuador, Vietnam, and Guatemala.

The lone senator born outside of the United States to parents who are not American is Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who was born in Japan. There are four other senators who were born in other countries to American parents.

Some members of the president’s Cabinet were also born in foreign countries, including the Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, who was born in Taiwan, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie, who was born in Germany. It is also worth noting that the president’s wife, Melania, was born in Slovenia and is the first first lady born outside the United States since Louisa Catherine Adams, the wife of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president.

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