Immigration Myths Debunked
There are a lot of myths about the status of immigrants that are so persistent, we eventually start to believe them. However, a lot of these are started by misinformed people with a preconceived bias against immigrants. The following myths are not only somewhat ridiculous, but also informative and eye-opening.
Myth #1: Immigrants don’t pay taxes and “freeload” off of Welfare
This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions. Immigrants pay taxes just like the rest of us; federal, state, and local. Immigrants make an estimated $240 billion a year, pay $90 billion in taxes, and only use about $5 billion in public benefits. A lot of immigrants are even afraid of getting government help because they think if they use these benefits then it will be easier for the government to “catch” them. Undocumented immigrants are also not available for benefits like Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, or food stamps; even legal immigrants need to have lived here for 5 years before they can take advantage of the benefits. They also pay income taxes; DACA recipients have to file taxes by April just like everyone else if they are working here legally.
Myth #2: DACA recipients can go to college for free
False! DACA recipients are not eligible for Federal Financial Aid and some private colleges require them to enroll to college as “international students” which means paying thousands of dollars more than citizens who enroll. At least 7 states also block undocumented students from even enrolling in college, let alone receive any kind of financial aid. The only help that some immigrants get when going to college is that they may be granted the right to enroll as “in-state” students which means they are allowed to pay lower tuition rates, or they can seek state-sponsored aid which is not very common for undocumented students who plan on going to college.
Myth #3: Building a wall will keep immigrants out of the U.S.
When has a wall ever been enough to keep people/things in or out of countries? For example, the Berlin Wall and The Great Wall of China. The border between the U.S. and Mexico is almost 2,000 miles long (1,989 miles to be exact) and a lot of the area is private property and rivers flow along two thirds of the border. Building a wall will just force “coyotes” to come up with more creative ways of getting people across the border and probably result in corrupt border patrol, too. Not only that, but it will cost us (U.S. taxpayers) BILLIONS, because let’s face it, Mexico is not paying for that wall.
Let’s not forget this country was built by immigrants and thrives on diversity.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – Statue of Liberty