Writer: Many misconceptions about immigration

Writer: Many misconceptions about immigration

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While immigration has always been a controversial matter in the U.S., it has become more so in recent years. There are many misconceptions.

Immigrants are responsible for two-thirds of the U.S. economic growth since 2011. Immigrants have founded 40% of Fortune 500 firms and 30% of all U.S. businesses, despite making up only 14% of the population. Immigrants are two to three times more likely than U.S.-born individuals to start a company, create a patented innovation, or win a Nobel Prize or Academy Award, and they participate in the workforce at a higher rate than native-born citizens. This is according to the Financial Times, September 2018.

Further, the great majority of undocumented immigrants pay local, state, and federal taxes, including $23.6 billion annually in federal income taxes and $7 billion in social security taxes.  Older Americans benefit from those contributions (plus medicare taxes) because undocumented immigrants are ineligible for those benefits. Undocumented immigrants pay billions in sales and local property taxes, yet remain ineligible for food stamps and other federal and most state benefit programs, according to the IRS and the Congressional Budget Office.

Undocumented immigrants are 49% less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans. Legal immigrants are 75% less likely than native-born Americans to be incarcerated.  The same holds for engagement in violent or non-violent "anti-social" behaviors, repeat offenders among "high risk" adolescents, and rates of delinquency rates among all young people. This is according to the Cato Institute, March 2019.

Tim Somers,




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