After sending weekend tweets suggesting several U.S. congresswomen
of color leave the country, President Trump
has defended those comments and denied allegations of racism. Although he did not directly name the women, the context of the tweets suggest a link to Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, three of whom were born in the U.S. and all of whom are American citizens. The four women urged the U.S. people "not to take the bait" during a news conference on Monday and dismissed the remarks as a distraction.
At the beginning of the year, Pew Research conducted an analysis
of where members of the newly-elected Congress claim heritage, finding that around 13 percent of all voting members are immigrants and the children of immigrants, the majority of them Democrats. There are 52 immigrants and children of immigrants in total serving in the 116th Congress and the following infographic shows how they are connected to nearly 40 countries. Lawmakers whose parents were born in different countries have been added to the respective country totals.
With 32 percent of lawmakers who are immigrants or who are the children of immigrants having roots there, Europe is the most common origin region. It is followed by Latin America where 22 percent claim heritage, with 19 percent and 18 percent having Asian and Caribbean roots respectively. Some lawmakers are immigrants who came to the U.S. in order to escape oppression or violence. Examples include Rep. Ilhan Omar mentioned above who fled the Somali capital of Mogadishu in 1991 and Rep. Tom Malinowski who was born in communist Poland and arrived in the U.S. at the age of 6 with his mother.