WASHINGTON, June 30, 2015—The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) was disappointed by the harsh and insensitive rhetoric expressed by Donald Trump, Chairman and President of The Trump Organization and founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts, during his recent 2016 Presidential Campaign announcement. Trump has claimed that Mexican immigrants bring problems like drugs and violent crime into the United States - an extreme and exclusionary position that has no basis in fact and is completely inappropriate in our national political discourse.
Critics charge that Trump is promoting a racist agenda under the protective umbrella of the Republican Party, at a time when leading candidates, including Governor Jeb Bush and Senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, have acknowledged the economic and political contributions of the Hispanic community and all immigrants to our country.
According to a study published by the George W. Bush Institute, in collaboration with the USHCC, America's immigrant community is highly entrepreneurial:
- starting new businesses at almost twice the rate of native-born citizens;
- with immigrant-owned companies employing 1 in 10 American workers;
- with 1 in 5 new, American small businesses being started by an immigrant;
- with immigrant-owned companies contributing over $775 billion to the U.S. economy;
- and 40% of Fortune 500 companies founded by an immigrant or their children.
The study also found that employment rates are highest among America's burgeoning immigrant community:
- with an employment rate of 62 % for foreign-born workers, compared to 57% for native-born citizens;
- with foreign-born workers accounting for 16% of the U.S. labor force, but only 13% of the U.S. population;
- and immigrants projected to comprise 93% of total growth in the labor force from 2012 - 2050.
Also, despite his assertions U.S. incarceration rates are, in fact, lowest for the immigrant population, disproving Trump's claims that immigrants are a major source of criminal activity.
Finally, while Mr. Trump has been dismissive of our country's relationship with Mexico, it is worth noting that according to the U.S. Department of State, Mexico is the third largest U.S. trading partner after Canada and China, and our country's second largest foreign supplier of petroleum. The U.S.-Mexico border is one of the busiest, most economically important borders in the world, with nearly one million legitimate travelers and nearly a billion dollars worth of goods legally crossing the border each day.
"Donald Trump's statements - which may be dismissed as the rantings of a fringe candidate - certainly do not reflect the leadership qualities needed in 2016 and beyond, and are unwelcome in today's political conversation," said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez "Mr. Trump should be well-aware of the critical role foreign-born workers play in the success of his enterprises. We commend those who have denounced Trump's extremist rhetoric, and look forward to a national, fact-based, dialogue with corporate leaders and Presidential candidates, regardless of political affiliation, that is predicated on dignity, respect, civility and compassion for all people."
Trump's anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic positions are diametrically-opposed to those expressed by the leaders in the hospitality industry, and we are proud to see that Trump's competitors have openly acknowledged the important contributions these workers make to their businesses. In a 2013 open letter to Congress, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, whose member companies include Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, Lowes hotels and others, highlights that the hospitality industry is proud and fortunate to include many immigrants among its 1.8 million associates throughout the country.
Given his announcement, the USHCC has abandoned Trump hotels as possible sites for its 2016 National Convention in Miami, Florida, and its 2016 Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C., the two largest gatherings of Hispanic business leaders in America. The USHCC also commends Univision and Comcast NBCUniversal for ending their business relationships with Mr. Trump in response to his recent remarks.
The USHCC will continue to do business with like-minded individuals and corporations that are committed to equality, diversity, inclusion and the fair treatment of all who call our country home.
About the USHCC
Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of our nation's entrepreneurs. The USHCC advocates on behalf of nearly 3.2 million Hispanicowned businesses, that together contribute in excess of $486 billion to the American economy, each year. As the leading organization of its kind, the USHCC serves as an umbrella to more than 200 local chambers and business associations across the nation, and partners with more than 240 major corporations. For more information, visit www.ushcc.com. Follow us on Twitter @USHCC