U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, State Representative Gene Wu, Houston City Councilman Robert Gallegos Honor Immigrant Heritage Month at Community Celebration, Public Art Installation

HOUSTON, TX – U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee joined local leaders to commemorate Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM) yesterday at an outdoor community celebration and art installation held in downtown Houston to #CelebrateImmigrants. Hundreds of Houstonians participated in the festivities, held to recognize the contributions of immigrants and their descendants to the United States over generations. Also in attendance were Texas State Representative Gene Wu, City of Houston Council Member Robert Gallegos and Texas State Senator Sylvia R. Garcia.

In a stirring speech at a press conference held during the event, Congresswoman Jackson Lee reaffirmed the value of immigrants to Houston, and called for Texans to welcome, respect and strengthen the immigrant community.

“Immigrants contribute to our country in ways large and small, seen and unseen.  Today’s migrants follow in the footsteps of centuries of individuals coming to our land to contribute to the vibrancy of our society and in the process, improve the lives and outlook of those who follow.  We should welcome them and ensure that they too can achieve their American Dream,” said Congresswoman Jackson Lee.

Following the press conference, community leaders added flags of their identified heritage to a public art installation designed to say “I <3 HTOWN.”
U.S. Congresswoman Jackson Lee, Rep. Wu and Councilmember Gallegos represent just a sampling of elected officials from Texas who are celebrating IHM this year. Governors and mayors from 40 states have already issued more than 175 proclamations officially declaring June as Immigrant Heritage Month in their jurisdictions, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Arlington Mayor W. Jeff Williams, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales.

Other Texas-based businesses and organizations that acknowledged a similar sentiment through statements include: the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin; Jason Finkelman Immigration Law;  Scheef & Stone, L.L.P.; Tech Ranch Austin; Stravity; SpiderMode and Tribl.

U.S. Reps. Joaquin CastroMarc Veasey and Filemon Vela, as well as Texas State Senator Sylvia R. Garcia, also took to social media to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month.
Since its launch in 2014, Immigrant Heritage Month has grown into a powerful, impactful celebration of millions of individuals’ heritage as immigrants. Last year, hundreds of artists, entertainers and elected officials representing all 50 states, and more than 540 companies and nonprofit partners, came together to celebrate IHM 2017 – leading to over half a billion impressions on social media in June alone, and more than dozens of IHM-linked events held around the country. The next IHM event will take place Friday, June 22, in San Diego at Balboa Park.