20 Major Immigration Facts the American Public Refuses to Hear
For many of us, the raging immigration debate affects our daily lives and takes up a lot of our psychic energy. For others, immigration is simply a hotly debated topic in the news, in classrooms, and around the dinner table, and an issue fraught with so many different aspects, there seems to be no end. Because we hear the same inaccurate arguments time and time again, we’ve collected some of the most important facts and the ones that are most often ignored.
1. Latinos are NOT the fastest growing groupdavidbc76 / Instagram
The popular media would have us think otherwise, but Latinos are NOT the fastest growing immigrant population — Asians are now leading that category.
2. Chinese make up the largest single-group percentagePinterest / Politicususa
Chinese make up the largest single-group percentage. The combined countries of Cuba, the Philippines, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Korea make up 42.5% of foreign-born people making lives in the U.S.
3. Mexican Immigration is moving in the reversePinterest
Mexican immigration is actually moving in reverse. More Mexicans are returning to their homeland than arriving in the U.S.
4. Reasons for this reversal: 9/11 and the recessionpaulsegreto / Instagram
Immigration from Mexico actually began to decline in 2000 before 9/11, and it decreased further in 2008. For many Mexicanos, the recession and lack of work made the US an undesirable place to live, and not the so-called threat of terrorism.
5. Fewer immigrants coming from European nations explains the fear-mongeringPinterest
It is true, however, that fewer immigrants are coming from European countries, but this fact only supports claims that all the immigration fuss in the U.S. really boils down to nativist fears, xenophobia, and plain old-fashioned racism.
6. Operation Wetback: Can you believe they called it that?Pinterest
During the summer of 1954, a mass deportation of Mexicanos, Operation Wetback, “repatriated” nearly 1.5 – 2 million Mexicanos, many were US citizens.
7. In summer 2018, approximately 3000 children were separated from their parentsPinterest
During summer 2018, approximately 3000 children (mostly Central American) were separated from their parents at the US/Mexico border when the Trump administration made the cruel choice to take children from mothers, fathers, and other family members. As of July 5, 2018, the Trump administration admitted that it did not know if all the children have been reunited with their families or not.
8. Increase in immigration from Central America result of US interventionPinterest
An increase in immigrants from Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras), 1980-2010, is a result of US intervention in the region largely under President Ronald Reagan who claimed to be protecting the US from Communism.
9. Immigrants commit less crimePinterest
Even though immigrants commit less crimes than native born people (according to the Cato Institute), the US spends more money on immigration enforcement. In 2012, it spent almost $18 billion on immigration enforcement—24 percent more than its combined spending on the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, Marshals Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
10. Foreign-born women make up the majority of the immigrant populationPinterest
We all remember when Donald Trump, said a lot of Mexican are rapists. At this point, it’s safe to assume that he was preying on nativist fears of brown men raping their white daughters, no? Here’s a fact for you, foreign-born women make up the majority of the immigrant population in the US by more than 3%.
11. MS-13 originated from Salvadoran refugeesPinterest / Politicususa
The MS-13 gang, or Mara Salvatrucha’s original members were mostly Salvadorans who left the country due to the US-funded civil war.
12. Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to the undocumentedPinterest
In 1984, before signing amnesty legislation in 1986, Ronald Reagan said the following: “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally.”
13. But he demonized single-women on welfarePinterest / Breitbart
He called women getting family services benefits ‘Welfare Queens’
14. The children of immigrants often don’t do great in high school but still succeed in collegePinterest
Children of immigrants have lower high school graduation rates than non-immigrant children but they still go on to college. It seems contradictory, but it makes sense given that the majority of black and brown folks with higher education degrees started at a community college, where a high school diploma is not required to enroll.
15. Their college-graduation rate is higher than national averagePinterest
The children of foreign-born immigrants have a college-graduation rate that is 5% higher than the national average. Children of immigrants are more likely to become homeowners too, and less likely to live at or below the poverty rate.
16. Many Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrantsPinterest
In 2010, Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants and children of immigrants employed people all over the world, more than 10 million people.
17. Many, many immigrants do pay taxesPinterest
Contrary to popular belief, immigrants do pay taxes. We all do when we buy goods and services, and many immigrants pay and file tax returns using a government-issued ITIN number, a number like a social security number that can be lawfully issued to foreign nationals and other individuals who are not eligible for a Social Security number (SSN) can pay the taxes they are legally required to pay.
18. In 2015, they paid 13.7 billion!Pinterest
All those smug people who claim not to be racist when they complain about immigrants sponging off the system and not paying taxes, should check see this: according to the IRS, in 2015, 4.35 million people paid over 13.7 billion in net taxes using an ITIN.
19. Latino immigration has very little impact on wages of African American menPinterest
It’s convenient for politicians who do a lot of scapegoating to pit different ethnic groups against one another, in particular around issues of employment. Guess what, gente? According to researchers from institutions like University of Hofstra, University of Chicago’s School of Economics, University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Cal Berkeley, and others agree that immigration has had little effect on the wages of African American men.
20. Still, the facts are enough to convince most to believe the truth about immigrationPinterest
If you want people to remember the truth about immigration combine the facts with emotional stories and anecdotes about real people whose lives match the statistics
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