Sunday, December 13, 2015

Countering the Myths about Immigrants

Immigrants don’t want to learn English — FALSE
While first generation, non-English speaking immigrants often have lower rates of English proficiency than native speakers, 91% of second generation immigrants are fluent or near fluent English speakers.  By the third generation, 97% speak English fluently or near fluently.
(Source: Shirin Hakimzadeh and D’Vera Cohn, “English Usage Among Hispanics in the United States,” Pew Hispanic Forum, Dec. 6, 2007.)

Immigrants Don’t Pay Taxes — FALSE
Undocumented immigrants pay taxes. They pay sales taxes where applicable and property taxes—directly if they own and indirectly if they rent.   They also contribute to Medicare and provide as much as 7 billion dollars a year to the Social Security Fund. 
(Source: Immigration Policy Center, “Undocumented Immigrants as Taxpayers,” (November 2007)

Immigrants Increase the Crime rate — FALSE
Research has shown that immigrant communities do not increase the crime rate and that immigrants commit fewer crimes than native born Americans.  While the undocumented immigrant population doubled from 1994 to 2005, violent crime dropped by 34% and property crimes decreased by 32%. First generation immigrants are 45% less likely to commit violent crimes than Americanized, third generation immigrants.
(Source: Immigration Policy Center, “Ímmigrants and Crime: Are They Connected,” December, 2007)

Immigrants Take Jobs Away from Americans — FALSE
The Pew Hispanic Center notes that “Rapid increases in the foreign-born population at the state level are not associated with negative effects on the employment of native-born workers.”  In fact, given that the number of native born low wage earners is falling nationally, immigrants are playing an important role in offsetting that decline.
(Source: The Urban Institute, “Trends in the Low-Wage Immigrant Labor Force, 2000-2005,” March, 2007)

Immigrants are a drain on the United States Economy — FALSE
The immigrant community proves to be a net benefit to the economy.  Research reveals that the average immigrant pays a net 80,000 dollars more in taxes than they collect in government services. Without guest workers the U.S. economy would lose as much as $9 billion a year in agricultural production and 20 percent of current production would go overseas.
(Source: CATO Institute, CATO Handbook for Congress: Policy Recommendations for the 108th Congress)

 Undocumented immigrants are a Burden on the Healthcare System — FALSE
The government spends approximately 1.1 billion dollars annually on healthcare costs for undocumented immigrants. This compares to 88 billion dollars spent on all health care for non-elderly adults in the U.S. in 2000.  Foreign born individuals tend to use fewer health care services because they are relatively healthier than their native born counterparts.
(Source: The Rand Corporation, “RAND Study Shows Relatively Little Public Money Spent Providing Healthcare to Undocumented Immigrants,” November 14, 2006).

No comments:

Post a Comment