Debunking Myths about U.S. Immigration
Whether you’re a foreign national hoping to attain U.S. citizenship or an immigrant living and working in the United States, there are a lot of myths about immigrants and immigration that you probably deal with on a daily basis. Even if you’ve entered the country legally with the help of a U.S. immigration lawyer, you are still subject to the ignorance of others when it comes to the issue of immigration. To help you overcome ignorance and intolerance, here is the truth behind some of the most common myths about U.S. immigration.
Myth: Immigrants Bring Crime
Since 1994, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has doubled. Over the same time, the violent crime rate in the U.S. has declined 34 percent and the property crime rate has fallen 26 percent. The Americas Majority Foundation also found that crime rates during the period between 1999 and 2006 were the lowest in states with the highest immigration growth rates. It’s also a fact, according to the National Institute of Corrections, that foreign-born people in America are incarcerated at a much lower rate than native-born American citizens.
Myth: Immigrants Don’t Pay Taxes
According to the Social Security Administration, between 50 and 75 percent of undocumented immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes, including $6 billion in Social Security taxes for benefits they will never get. Until undocumented immigrants obtain U.S. citizenship, they cannot receive welfare or food stamps. This means undocumented immigrants are actually paying into a system that benefits Americans only.
Myth: Most Immigrants are Here Illegally
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the issue of illegal immigration, but the fact is that most of the foreign-born population in the U.S. have followed the rules and have permission to be here legally. Of the more than 30 million foreign-born people living in the United States in 2009, approximately 20 million were either citizens or legal residents. If you are trying to achieve legal residency in the United States, consult with an immigration lawyer to learn about different paths toward U.S. citizenship.