More exploding immigration myths

There are more immigration myths to be attacked. Sadly, some of these myths reside in my mind or at least in my feelings. Others are commonly held misconceptions about immigration, ones that may or may not affect how we deal with the issue.

Let’s explore a few of these:

  • MYTH: Undocumented workers are all hard-working, family-oriented, law-respecting individuals, making the best way they can in a difficult situation. The inclusion of the word all tips you off that this is a myth. Admittedly, this conception is near and dear to my heart, for it’s a good representation of the vast majority of immigrants that I have known. Yet, I also know that some immigrants are much more cavalier about their existence, taking advantage of a broken immigration system so that they can live out a lawless lifestyle.
  • MYTH: Immigration has created no hardship for border states; this is an invention of power-hungry politicians. Border towns and border states have carried the lion’s share of the burden of immigration. States like Arizona have experienced increased costs and hardships because of the current form of illegal immigration. (In addition, there are many problems associated with a porous border that go beyond immigration)
  • MYTH: The number of Mexicans entering the United States illegally is on the rise. While people of Mexican descent make up nearly 60% of the undocumented workers in the U.S., their numbers are dropping. Between 2007 and 2010, over 200,000 Mexicans entered the U.S. illegally. In the same period, over 800,00 that were here illegally returned to Mexico. There are many possible explanations for that, with the most likely being the economic downturn in the United States, harsh new immigration laws at the state level, and increased deportations by the federal government.
  • MYTH: Illegal immigration is almost exclusively a result of the lack of secure borders.This is far from true. Almost half of all undocumented immigrants entered the United States with a legal visa, then stayed after their visa expired.

Finally, if you’ve got about 5 minutes, you might like to listen to a video about immigration myths. Jason Riley, of the Wall Street Journal, explains why he (and the Journal) favors a loosening of immigration restrictions. Along the way, he assails several of the myths that we talked about yesterday:

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