Immigration has been one of the most common discussions in American politics for years, even if little legislation has come forward. Passionate advocates on all sides of the issue have staked out their talking points and held strong. But not everything you hear about immigration is fact.
The Myths: Immigrants Drain America
What are some common accusations and generalizations you have heard about immigrants, both documented and undocumented? Perhaps you’ve seen them on bumper stickers or on signs at political rallies.
Here are a few to start:
- Undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes.
- Immigrants take jobs from American workers.
- Most immigrants are here illegally.
- Immigrants are a drain on taxpayer-funded services.
The Facts: Immigrants Strengthen America Economically
- TAXES: The Social Security Administration estimates that roughly 75% of undocumented immigrants pay payroll taxes. Additionally, they contribute more than $6 billion in Social Security taxes and $1.5 billion to Medicare each year, despite the fact that these are not services to which they are legally entitled.
- JOBS: Research indicates that immigrants tend to fill jobs at the high and low ends of the salary and skill range. Gaps in the workplace that have been filled by immigrants are due in part to the increasing age of the American-born population. An influx of immigrants can actually raise wages for American-born workers.
- GOVERNMENT SERVICES: In a comprehensive report in 1997, the National Research Council concluded that immigrants generate, on average, $80,000 more in government revenue than is spent on each of them over the course of their lives. Read that report here.
- POPULATION: In 2011, the Pew Research Center estimated there were 11.1 million undocumented immigrants in America, or about 3.7% of the population. This is nearly a million fewer undocumented immigrants than four years prior. There are nearly twice as many foreign-born people in the U.S. who have proper documentation. The biggest wave of immigration in the U.S. actually occurred nearly 125 years ago in 1890.
The Manuel Solis Law Firm believes in providing people with as much information as possible to educate them. We’ve worked with countless immigrants over the years, and we know most are simply good people looking to improve life for themselves and their families.
What other myths about immigrants have you heard? How do they affect you and your family when you hear them?
We are attorneys that focus on representing people seeking visas or citizenship in the U.S. We also defend people facing deportation and handle all other immigration-related matters. If you need help with an immigration issue, contact the Manuel Solis Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation.