10 myths about immigration

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1. Immigrants don’t pay taxes

WRONG. Immigrants DO pay taxes, even undocumented immigrants. In fact, several studies show that immigrants pay between $90 and $140 billion taxes a year in the form of their income, property and sales.

2. Immigrants come here to take welfare

Err…No. Immigrants work their asses off and even make up a larger share of U.S labor force (12.4%) than do the U.S population (11.5%). In one estimate, immigrants use $5 billion in public benefits and their tax payments surpass the amount of government services they use.

3. Immigrants send all their money back to their home countries.

True but as immigrants and their businesses contribute $162 billion in tax revenue to U.S governments, remitting billions dollars a year to their home countries is considered “one of the most targeted and effective forms of direct foreign investment”.

4. Immigrants take jobs and opportunities away from Americans

It is the opposite. Successful and creative immigrants in fact create jobs for U.S and foreign workers, and foreign-born students help many U.S graduate programs keep their doors open.

5. Immigrants are a drain on U.S economy

Immigrants fill jobs in key sectors, start their own businesses, and contribute to a thriving economy. The net benefit of immigration to the U.S. is nearly $10 billion annually. 70% of immigrants arrive in prime working age. That means not a penny was spent on their education, yet immigrants are transplanted into the U.S workforce and contribute $500 billion toward American social security system over the next 20 years.

6. Immigrants don’t want to learn English or become Americans

This obviously has changed drastically. 75% of Immigrants coming to the U.S nowadays have wonderful English skills and 33% of them are naturalized citizens. The numbers will undoubtedly continue to grow.

7. Today’s immigrants are different from those of 100 years ago

Similar to accusations about today’s immigrants, those of 100 years ago initially often settled in mono-ethnic neighborhoods, spoke their native languages, and built up newspapers and businesses that catered to their fellow emigrants. They also experienced the same types of discrimination that today’s immigrants face, and integrated within American culture at a similar rate.

8. Most immigrants cross the border illegally

Around 75% of today’s immigrants have legal permanent (immigrant) visas; of the 25% that are undocumented, 40% overstayed temporary (non-immigrant) visas.

9. Weak U.S. border enforcement has led to high undocumented immigration.

From 1986 to 1998, the Border Patrol’s budget increased six-fold and the number of agents stationed on the southwest border of America doubled to 8,500. Insufficient legal avenues for immigrants to enter the U.S, compared with the number of jobs in need of workers, has significantly contributed to this current conundrum.

10. The war on terrorism can be won through immigration restrictions.

Fact: Most of the 9/11 hijackers were here on legal visas. Since 9/11, the myriad of measures targeting immigrants in the name of national security have netted no terrorism prosecutions. In fact, several of these measures could have the opposite effect and actually make America less safe, as targeted communities of immigrants are afraid to come forward with information.

This is why America continues to welcome different people from around the world. Immigrants make up the United States, contributing to its growing economy and population.

Source:  http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/…/top-10-myths-about-immig…

Jen Tran – Social Media Assistant

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