The common misconceptions on immigration
Firstly, the apologies for being so quiet for a few months. I decided I had other things to focus on, but now that summer is drawing toward an end it is time to recommence the observations and analysis. Regular readers will know that we are skeptics about the talking points on the immigration debate. The faux news stories about how immigration of all types will be the death of the country are a fallacy that requires constant challenge. We sliced and diced the GOP talking points on that before we went on our summer hiatus in the article “Immigration Policy Myopia”.
There is rarely an article on the issue in the mainstream media we find that we don’t need to dissect to garner a clearer insight of the issues, but we stumbled across one today that we simply stand back and applaud. Darrell M West of the Brookings Institute writing today in the USA Today nailed the fallacies in an article that we cannot recommend more highly. Go read it in its entirety and see if you can’t inject some facts as opposed to hype the next time the issue gets raised with you. …we should also send a copy to Governor Brewer in Arizona but doubt she could swallow the red pill and free herself from the xenophobic Matrix without choking.
One of the chief sources of irrationality is the myths that have arisen about immigrants and immigration policy. Befitting a subject that is politically charged, here’s where ordinary Americans and policymakers often get it wrong:
Myth No. 1 — Illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes. They actually pay a variety of taxes. Because many undocumented workers hold jobs, a large number pay income, Social Security and Medicare taxes, as well as sales taxes when they purchase items in stores and property taxes when they rent or own homes. One study found that they pay $162 billion annually in federal, state and local taxes. Another project found that the average immigrant paid $1,800 more in taxes than government benefits received.
Myth No. 2 — The United States rarely deports illegal immigrants. In fact, the government deports 350,000 people annually. Since 1999, more than 2.2 million people have been deported from the United States, including visitors who overstayed their visas, lied on immigration forms, or committed serious crimes. State and federal officials regularly check the immigrant status of those who are arrested or serving time in prison