A lot of alarming myths are being spread in this campaign season by candidates like Donald Trump who want to generate fear of immigrants and division between working people. Let’s focus on the facts instead.
Myth: Our country is being overrun by undocumented immigrants.
Fact: The number of undocumented immigrants in our country peaked in 2007 and has been decreasing steadily since then.
Myth: Creating a pathway to citizenship will take jobs from U.S. workers.
Fact: Increasing rights and protections for our most vulnerable workers will help lift standards and wages for our entire workforce. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that comprehensive immigration reform would substantially strengthen our economy, increase employment levels and ultimately result in a raise for all working people in our country.
Myth: Undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes and they drain our social services.
Fact: All undocumented immigrants pay sales taxes that stimulate our state and local budgets, and many pay federal taxes as well. However, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for most public welfare benefits, so they contribute more to our public budgets than they receive, creating a positive net fiscal impact.
Myth: Deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants will strengthen our economy.
Fact: Removing millions of long-term members of our communities and unions from the United States would cost an estimated $600 billion and substantially harm our productivity, particularly in industries such as agriculture, construction and hospitality. It would also require the creation of a huge deportation force that would sow fear and guarantee an increase in racial profiling and incarceration of people of color.
Myth: We have no idea who is coming into our country as a refugee.
Fact: The screening done for our refugee resettlement program is extremely rigorous. On average, candidates wait nearly two years for approval of their applications to enter through our humanitarian programs. It would be a clear violation of U.S. and international law to deny people safe harbor based on the religion they practice or the country of their birth.
Myth: Immigrants make our communities less safe.
Fact: Studies consistently show that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than our general population. Attempts to label entire groups of immigrants as "criminals" or "terrorists" are patently false, and run counter to our core values as a nation.
Myth: Mexico will pay for a wall on our southern border.
Fact: The Mexican government has made clear that they will never fund a wall between our nations. Instead, this project would cost taxpayers an estimated $25 billion that could otherwise be used to fund schools, roads, bridges and other projects critical to creating good jobs and moving our country forward.