Common Misconceptions about Immigrants

US Immigration Myths

Three Common Misconceptions About Immigration


Understandably, and with the current administration, immigration has been one of the most talked about topics to generate some of the biggest arguments and reinforce typical misconceptions. For decades, immigration has been a constant issue which almost everybody has an opinion on, or argument for. Recently, since President Trump launched his hardline campaigns on immigration, there has been a growth of confusion leading to the recycling of misconceptions around both illegal and legal immigrants alike. Below are the three most common misconceptions about immigration that appear to prevail…

1. Immigrants “take jobs” from Americans

According to a report from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, immigrants do not take jobs from Americans. It actually finds that immigration has very little long-term impact on the wages and employment of native-born US workers. Legal and illegal immigrant are only fulfilling American jobs that are already un-resourced. There is no hard evidence that either legal or illegal immigrants are keeping Americans out of jobs. A report by Peri and Sparber, reveals that generally immigrant workers and native US born workers specialize in different work environments and tasks. In another report by the Cato Institute, it also states that “increases in immigrant employment are not damaging to natives but instead could produce a net benefit.” In conclusion, immigrants, regardless of their status, have a positive impact on economic growth by providing labor to American employers and creating new jobs when helping new businesses to open

2. Illegal Immigrants Abuse Government Assistance

The truth is that most immigrants are not even eligible for public benefits because of their immigration status. Undocumented immigrants are generally not eligible for any kind of public assistance programs because of their unlawful status. Generally, to be eligible for a public assistance program the applicant needs to be a US citizen, legal permanent resident, or a refugee / asylee. Immigrants on a visa or student visa and DACA recipients are generally not eligible for public benefits either. Low income immigrants that are US citizens, legal permanent residents, or refugees also use public benefits at a much lower rate than native born US citizens.

3. Illegal Immigrants Contribute the most to Crime

The most heated debate under the Trump administration has been that illegal immigrants are mostly criminals and contribute more to crime than US native born and legal immigrants. According to a report by Light and Miller, undocumented immigration does not increase the percentage per capita incidence of violent crime. The correlation between illegal immigration and violent crime is fairly negative.

The Secure Communities (SCOMM) program started in 2008, this being the body which previously checked the fingerprints of local and state arrestees against a federal immigration database. If there was any suspicion an arrestee being an illegal immigrant ICE would detain them. However, in 2014, the Obama administration ended the program. During the time SCOMM was active there was no significant effect of immigration on local crime rates and moreover the removal of illegal immigrants did not decrease local crime rate.

The legal and illegal immigration population have been at the center of political and public debates that have unfairly generated a number of fabricated theories against them. It is therefore highly possible that the general misconceptions arise because it easier to blame a certain group of the community for the recent high crime rates across the country as it also appears to do so for the state of native unemployment. In fact, most employers will not hire a person without a social security number or work authorization because they would be sanctioned and prosecuted.

In conclusion, the simple truth is that there is no weight of evidence that satisfies any of the most common arguments against both legal and illegal immigration.

If you are feeling uncertain about your legal resident status, or are worried about removal proceedings  then simply contact Motion Law Immigration at: (202) 918-1799 or request a FREE Consultation with one of our expert immigration attorneys who will be happy to advise you about all options you may be eligible for