Groups » Dispelling the 5 Biggest Myths about Immigration

immigration attorney Chicago
(Image credit:

Anchor babies, criminals and job stealers. Does this sound familiar to you?

This is how immigrants in America are regarded by a majority of the native citizens of the country. There have been many cases where they are treated unfairly by the country and its people.

Moreover, there are several myths associated with immigrants and immigration that it’s resulting in the further spreading of ugly and racial claims. Does immigration or immigrants lead to increase in unemployment? Are they exploiting the country’s welfare system?

Let’s take a look at five of the biggest immigration myths and probe deeper to uncover the realities behind them.

1. Immigration to the USA Leads to Unemployment for the native Americans

It is important to understand that employment is not a “zero-sum” game. In other words, for every job position filled by an immigrant, an American doesn’t lose one position. Both, the native-born Americans and the immigrants born here, possess a different set of skills, and are hence, not competing against each other for the same kind of jobs.

According to the Immigration Policy Center, a nonpartisan group, research indicates there is little connection between immigrant labor and unemployment rates of native-born workers. Owing to better education and aging population, the U.S. has witnessed a decrease in the number of Americans willing or available to take low-paying jobs.

Between 2000 and 2005, the supply of low-skilled American-born workers slipped by 1.8 million. To fill this void, employers hired immigrant workers.

Additionally, according to the MPI statistics, immigrants accounted for 13 percent (41.3 million) of the total U.S. population in 2013, of which only 24.2 million contributed to the workforce.

One thing that remains very clear is that the influx of new workers pushes wages down, but on the other hand immigration also stimulates growth. The growth is clearly visible as there is a rise in new consumers, entrepreneurs and investors. Immigration plays a crucial role in both big as well as small businesses.

So, there is absolutely no correlation between high unemployment and immigration. By no means are immigrants ‘job stealers.’

2. Immigrants Don’t Intend to Blend in the American Society

Several Americans are falsely led into believing that the immigrants of today don’t want to integrate with the American society, unlike the previous generations.

Many believe that the past wave of immigrants including the large numbers of Germans, Irish and Italians who arrived in the 19th and early 20th centuries, were quick to blend in with the American society.

On the other hand, according to Reimers, the typical pattern of assimilation in the U.S. has remained steady, and that’s perhaps because of public education and mass media.

Today, immigrants consistently seek English instruction in such large numbers that adult-education programs cannot meet the demand, especially in places such as California. Secondly, the No Child Left Behind Act has played a critical role in educating immigrant children because it holds schools accountable for teaching them English. The number of English-speaking people is set to rise, as more legal permanent residents become eligible for naturalization in the coming years.

Immigrants are seeking to speak English, buy houses and do more business, thereby giving their best shot to perfectly blending into the American society.

3. Undocumented Immigrants Don’t Pay Taxes

Every time an undocumented immigrant buys gas, clothes or new appliances, he/she pays taxes just like any other consumer in the U.S. Additionally, he/she also pays property tax, even when renting a house.

More than half of the undocumented immigrants have federal and state income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes automatically deducted from their paychecks. Overall, they pay billions of taxes every year.

According to various studies, the tax payment by immigrants is fairly huge in terms of income tax, property tax and sales tax. This amount will undoubtedly witness a significant increase if immigrants are allowed to work legally in the U.S.

4. Increase in Crime Is Due to Illegal Immigrants

High level of immigration is by no means related with more crime.

Between 1990 and 2010, the foreign-born share of the U.S. population grew from 7.9 percent to 12.9 percent, and the number of unauthorized immigrants tripled from 3.5 million to 11.2 million. During the same period, FBI data indicated that the violent-crime rate declined by 45 percent and the property crime rate fell by 42 percent.

Most importantly, studies also prove that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or to be incarcerated than native-born Americans.

According to an analysis by economists Kristin Butcher and Anne Piehl, harsher immigration laws are deterring immigrants from committing crimes because they are afraid of deportation.

5. Immigrants Come to the U.S. for the Sake of Welfare Benefits

Immigration has always been a contentious topic. One of the major myths revolving around it states that the majority of the immigrants enter the U.S. just for the sake of welfare benefits.

However, it is important to note that undocumented immigrants are not eligible for federal public-benefit programs, and even legal immigrants face strict eligibility restrictions.

Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for the following federal public benefits such as:

  • Social Security

  • Supplemental Security Income

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

  • Medicare and Medicaid

  • Food stamps

Legal immigrants need to be in the U.S. for a minimum of five years in order to avail these benefits regardless of the amount of taxes they pay.

If you wish to know more about the laws related to immigration or your legal rights as an immigrant, it is best to consult a reputable immigration attorney. He/she can help you understand the various aspects of these laws. There are several ways to find a good immigration lawyer. Searching on the Internet can help you to a great extent. For instance, if you are a resident of Chicago, you could search online for immigration attorney Chicago. This will provide you with a lot of relevant results. You can check the online rating of these lawyers and then opt for initial consultation.


There is quite a lot of misinformation prevailing about the impact of immigration on the U.S. It is important to understand the facts hidden behind these fallacies. The above mentioned points should make it very clear that immigrants significantly benefit the U.S. economy. They are creating new jobs, and complementing the skills of the U.S. native workforce, with a net positive impact on wage rates overall. It’s better to look at the bright side, than promote misconceptions. Only then can the benefits of immigration be reaped fully and mutually.

Join this group! Login with facebook