Many native-born United States residents have prejudices about immigrants and continue to perpetuate myths about them and the U.S. immigration process in general. At Cuevas, Garcia & Torres, P.A., we have a full understanding of U.S. citizenship and immigration law. We are well equipped to correct the common misconceptions about immigration where it pertains to newcomers in Miami and elsewhere. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the following points address these immigration myths:
- All immigrants are illegal. The Pew Hispanic Center points out that only one third of all immigrants in the U.S. are undocumented, while one third have lawful permanent residency status or some other type of legal status, and the final third are naturalized citizens.
- Immigrants increase crime. Crime rates are actually decreasing among undocumented immigrants. In fact, crime rates have been dropping in Miami, which houses one of the highest immigrant populations in the country.
- They won’t learn English. Actually, most newcomers whose native language is not English realize they need to learn the language to succeed in America. Most speak English to some degree while at work.
- Illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes and drain our social service programs. Most immigrant workers pay income tax when they work, as well as property and sales taxes from housing rentals to grocery store purchases. Also, most aren’t eligible for welfare programs until they qualify for legal permanent resident status and have lived in the country at least five years.
- Immigrants take jobs away from “real” Americans. Many foreign workers have different job skills from lifelong U.S. citizens, and their careers often complement the rest of the workforce.
When people dispel unfair immigration myths and learn the facts, compassion and understanding may result. To learn more about immigrants’ rights, please visit our page on citizenship and naturalization.