Although we are a nation of immigrants, there is still plenty of xenophobia in America. People are naturally suspicious of strangers from foreign lands, and when they hear something derogatory about the newcomers, they are apt to believe it.
Many of the myths we hear about immigrants and immigration are simply not true. It can be helpful to learn a few common misconceptions about the immigration process and immigrants themselves.
Immigrants Only Want to Come to America to Receive Welfare
Most immigrants actually come to the United States for work or to be with their families. Oftentimes, people from developing nations will come to America specifically for the purpose of earning money to send home to their families.
Immigrants are often stereotyped as not contributing to the economy in general and depleting various social programs. In actuality, immigrants give much more than they take. They generally pay a larger percentage of taxes than the money they receive from any social service program.
According to the Institute of taxation and economic policy, illegal immigrants pay 12 billion dollars a year in taxes.
Immigrants Refuse to Learn English
English is a very hard language. It may take the average person about ten years to master it fully. The truth is, there are not enough English classes to accommodate all the people who want to take them.
When a person wants to become a United States citizen, they will have to take both an English test and a civics test. If you talked to an immigrant, you might find that they know more history of the country than you do.
Immigrants are the cause of a National Security Crisis
There is nothing to suggest that immigrants are the cause of any national security crisis, especially not at the Mexican border. The border town of El Paso, Texas is considered to be one of the safest and most crime-free cities in the country. Undocumented immigrants actually have lower conviction rates and than do Americans.
The majority of people who come through the border are families. Some of them are seeking protection from violent conditions in their country of origin.
Most Illegal Immigrants Came Here by Sneaking Over the Border
The truth of the matter is that the majority of illegal immigrants came here legally. They simply travel to the United States using a passport and a visa. They just did not leave when they were supposed to.
Immigrants are Taking all the Jobs
This is probably one of the most believed and repeated myths about immigrants. There is also a stereotype that immigrants generally work low-level jobs. In reality, there are many Chinese and Asian people who contribute to the economy with new technology and businesses. In Silicon Valley by early 2000, Chinese and Indian immigrant companies made over $19.5 billion in sales and created nearly 73,000 jobs. Many immigrants also own small businesses, which generate money and jobs in their community.
America is a great country, but oftentimes, our citizens can be a bit misinformed. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with any politician’s policy so you can make an informed decision when you vote. Firms like fl-ilc.com can help provide guidance if you are interested in immigrating to the United States.