Comprehensive immigration reform has garnered support from voters representing both political parties across the United States. However, there are still myths about immigration that exist, and correcting them is sure to gain more support for immigrants and their families who want to earn a path to citizenship. Here is some information to debunk these myths:
1. Myth: There are more immigrants in the U.S. than ever before
Actually, the greatest number of immigrants in the U.S. was recorded in 1900. Then, individuals born in other countries made up roughly 20 percent of the population! Today, that number is down to 12 percent. Since 2008 and the start of the recession, the number of undocumented immigrants in this country has dropped.
2. Myth: Immigrants have children in the U.S. so they can stay here
A common belief is that undocumented immigrants will have their children in the U.S., because then their offspring are automatically a citizen, and the parents will be allowed to stay in the country. These children are known as “anchor babies.” The truth is that immigration judges will not keep the immigrant parents in the U.S. just because their children are citizens.
3. Myth: American workers lose jobs to immigrants
According to the nonpartisan group Immigration Policy Center, there is little proof that there is a connection between the number of immigrants and unemployment rates of native-born American workers. In reality, better education in the U.S. and an aging population are the two causes of the decrease in the number of Americans who are willing or able to take low-paying jobs that immigrants often perform. The amount of low-skilled American workers actually dropped by nearly 2 million between 2000 and 2005. The entire economy benefits from the labor immigrants provide by maintaining lower costs on foods and other goods that immigrants help produce.
4. Myth: Immigrants today don’t want to become Americanized
This myth is disproved every year. For example, in 2010, nearly 500,000 immigrants participated in ceremonies to became naturalized citizens. There are many different obstacles for immigrants to become citizens, including securing employment, overcoming language barriers, paying naturalization fees, and taking a written citizenship exam. Completing all of these requirements is proof enough of an immigrant’s desire to be a naturalized American citizen.