President Donald Trump Feb. 15, declared a national emergency after creating months of fear that immigrant from Mexico and South American countries such as El Salvador and Guatemala are invading the US, bring with them crime, diseases if allowed to come in mooch on the system.
While it’s true there are immigrants who commit crimes, get into debt, drug addiction and even mooching on the system through welfare, independent research shows immigrants are no worse than US-born citizens, in fact, numerous studies have shown that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than US-born citizens.
Throughout his campaign and in his presidency, Trump has repeated lies against immigrants and fomented an anti-immigrant environment in the US. According to a PBS report published Nov 29, 2018, Trump has falsely and illogically claimed that illegal immigrants receive more federal assistance in Social Security benefits than average Americans.
A PBS article published in Nov 2018, found overall, immigration had an overall positive effect in the US economy. Debunking four major myths about how immigrants impact the economy, PBS reporter Gretchen Frazee found the idea immigrants take more from the US government than they contribute to be false. The absolute opposite is true. Taken in totality, the overall impact of immigrants across three generations, showed immigrants contributed more to the economy than the average American. On average, according to the report, while the first generation immigrants cost Uncle Sam about $1,600 per person annually, the second generation contributes an average of $1,700 annually.
Native-born Americans and third generation immigrants contribute $1,300 per year.
Frazee argues that while it’s difficult to determine the real contribution of illegal immigrants living in the shadows, a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine suggest they contribute positively to the economy because they tend to be younger and do not qualify for public benefits.
Other myths about immigration are:
- Immigrants take American jobs, not true. Immigrants tend to complement the American job market by taking the jobs that Americans do not prefer.
- US Economy does not need immigrants. Immigrant fill in the gaps in the American labor force due to declining birth rates.
- Myth 4: It would be better for the economy if immigrants’ children were not citizens: This is an attack on the 14th Amendment of the constitution, which guarantees citizenship to anyone born or naturalized in the United States. The reality is immigrant children with citizenship are more productive workers according to Frezee.
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