10 Myths About Immigration

Editor’s note: While originally published in 2011, this story was updated in 2015 to reflect current statistics, policies and conditions in the United States. Click here for a detailed list of sources. 

Myths about immigration and immigrants are common. Here are a few of the most frequently heard misconceptions—along with information to help you and your students separate fact from fear.

When students make statements that are mistaken or inaccurate, one response is to simply ask, “How do you know that’s true?” Whatever the answer—even if it’s “That’s what my parents say”—probe a little more to get at the source. Ask, “Where do you think they got that information?” or “That sounds like it might be an opinion and not a fact.” Guide students to find a reliable source and help them figure out how to check the facts.

Most immigrants are here illegally.
With so much controversy around the issue of undocumented immigrants, it’s easy to overlook the fact that most of the foreign-born people living in the United States have followed the rules and have permission to be here. Of the more than 41 million foreign-born people living in the United States in 2013, about 30 million were naturalized citizens, permanent residents and legal residents. Eleven million were unauthorized immigrants. Of those who did not have authorization to be here, about 40 percent entered the country legally and then let their visas expire.

It's just as easy to enter the country legally today as it was when my ancestors arrived.
Ask students when their ancestors immigrated and if they know what the entry requirements were at the time. For about the first 100 years, the United States had an “open immigration system that allowed any able-bodied immigrant in,” explains immigration historian David Reimers. The biggest obstacle would-be immigrants faced was getting here—some even resorted to selling themselves into indentured servitude to do so. Today, there are many rules about who may enter the country and stay legally. Under current policy, many students’ immigrant ancestors who arrived between 1790 and 1924 would not be allowed in today.

There’s a way to enter the country legally for anyone who wants to get in line.
Ask students if they know the rules to enter the country legally and stay here to work. The simple answer is that there is no “line” for most very poor people with few skills to stand in and gain permanent U.S. residency. Generally, gaining permission to live and work in the United States is limited to people who are (1) highly trained in a skill that is in short supply here and offered a job by a U.S. employer, (2) escaping political persecution, (3) joining close family already here, or (4) winners of the green-card lottery.

My ancestors learned English, but today’s immigrants refuse.
Ask students to find out how long it took for their ancestors to stop using their first language. “Earlier immigrant groups held onto their cultures fiercely,” notes Reimers. “When the United States entered the First World War [in 1917], there were over 700 German-language newspapers. Yet, German immigration had peaked in the 1870s.”

While today’s immigrants may speak their first language at home, one-half of those older than 5 speak English “very well” according to research by the independent, nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute. And the demand for adult ESL instruction in the United States far outstrips available classes.

Today’s immigrants don’t want to blend in and become “Americanized.”
Ask students what it means to blend in to American society. Nearly 655,000 people became naturalized citizens during the 2014 fiscal year. They had to overcome obstacles like getting here, finding a job, tackling language barriers, paying naturalization fees, dealing with a famously lethargic immigration bureaucracy and taking a written citizenship test. This is not the behavior of people who take becoming American lightly.

The reality is that the typical pattern of assimilation in the United States has remained steady, says Reimers. “The first generation struggled with English and didn’t learn it. The second was bilingual. And the third can’t talk to their grandparents.” If anything, the speed of assimilation is faster today than at any time in our past, mainly because of public education and mass media.

Immigrants take good jobs from Americans.
Ask students what kinds of jobs they think immigrants are taking. According to the Immigration Policy Center, a nonpartisan group, research indicates there is little connection between immigrant labor and unemployment rates of native-born workers. Here in the United States, two trends—better education and an aging population—have resulted in a decrease in the number of Americans willing or available to take low-paying jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, close to 26 million foreign-born people, or 17 percent of the country’s labor force, worked in the United States in 2014. These workers are more likely to be employed by the service industry, while native-born workers are more likely to hold jobs in management, professional, sales and office occupations. 

To fill the void of low-skilled American workers, employers often hire immigrant workers. One of the consequences, unfortunately, is that it is easier for unscrupulous employers to exploit this labor source and pay immigrants less, not provide benefits and ignore worker-safety laws. On an economic level, Americans benefit from relatively low prices on food and other goods produced by undocumented immigrant labor.

Undocumented immigrants bring crime.
Ask students where they heard this. Nationally, from 1990 to 2010, the violent crime rate declined almost 45 percent and the property crime rate fell 42 percent, even as the number of undocumented immigrants more than tripled. According to the conservative Americas Majority Foundation, crime rates from 1999 to 2006 were lowest in states with the highest immigration growth rates. During that period, the total crime rate fell 14 percent in the 19 top immigration states, compared to only 7 percent in the other 31. Truth is, foreign-born people in America—whether they are naturalized citizens, permanent residents or undocumented—are incarcerated at a much lower rate than native-born Americans, according to the National Institute of Corrections.

Undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes but still get benefits.
Ask students what are some ways Americans pay taxes, as in income tax and sales tax. Undocumented immigrants pay taxes every time they buy gas, clothes or new appliances. They also contribute to property taxes—a main source of school funding—when they buy or rent a house, or rent an apartment. The U.S. Social Security Administration estimated that in 2013 undocumented immigrants—and their employers—paid $13 billion in payroll taxes alone for benefits they will never get. They can receive schooling and emergency medical care, but not welfare or food stamps.

The United States is being overrun by immigrants like never before.
Ask students why they think this. As a percentage of the U.S. population, the historic high actually came in 1890, when the foreign-born constituted nearly 15 percent of the population. By 2012, about 13 percent of the population was foreign-born. At the start of the recession in 2008, the number of undocumented immigrants coming into the country actually dropped, and in more recent years, that number is stabilizing with little change. 

Many people also accuse immigrants of having “anchor babies”—children who allow the whole family to stay. According to the U.S. Constitution, a child born on U.S. soil is automatically an American citizen. That is true. But immigration judges will not keep immigrant parents in the United States just because their children are U.S. citizens. In 2013, the federal government deported about 72, 410 foreign-born parents whose children had been born here. These children must wait until they are 21 before they can petition to allow their parents to join them in the United States. That process is long and difficult. In reality, there is no such thing as an “anchor baby.”

Anyone who enters the country illegally is a criminal.
Ask students whether someone who jaywalks or who doesn’t feed a parking meter is a criminal. Explain that only very serious misbehavior is generally considered “criminal” in our legal system. Violations of less serious laws are usually “civil” matters and are tried in civil courts. People accused of crimes are tried in criminal courts and can be imprisoned. Federal immigration law says that unlawful presence in the country is a civil offense and is, therefore, not a crime. The punishment is deportation. However, some states—like Arizona—have criminalized an immigrant’s mere presence.


Differentiation-Improper Entry and Unlawful Presence

Submitted by tlcmine on 11 August 2015 - 3:33pm.
Improper Entry is a crime. Under federal criminal law, it is misdemeanor for an alien (i.e., a non-citizen) to: • Enter or attempt to enter the United States at any time or place other than designated by immigration officers; • Elude examination or inspection by immigration officers; or • Attempt to enter or obtain entry to the United States by willfully concealing, falsifying, or misrepresenting material facts. The punishment under this federal law is no more than six months of incarceration and up to $250 in CIVIL penalties for each illegal entry. Unlawful Presence is not a crime. Many foreign nationals legally enter the U.S., on a valid work or travel visa, but fail to exit when the visa expires. Mere unlawful presence in the country is not a crime. It is a violation of federal immigration law to remain in the country without legal authorization, but this violation is punishable by civil penalties, not criminal. This means an illegal alien cannot be criminally charged or incarcerated simply for being undocumented.

You're joking right? "Federal

Submitted by Anonymous on 8 December 2014 - 10:52am.

You're joking right? "Federal immigration law says that unlawful presence in the country is a civil offense and is, therefore, not a crime." How about reading a bit of U.S. Code before you put false information out? The "myth" says "Anyone who ENTERS the country ILLEGALLY is a criminal." - That is a FACT, not a myth.

See below for the actual text from Section 1325, United States Code 8.
If someone entering this country:
1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or
(2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or
(3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

Whats that.. imprisonment? Hmm.. must be a civil conviction, huh?

§ 1325. Improper entry by alien
(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination
or inspection; misrepresentation and
concealment of facts
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter
the United States at any time or place other
than as designated by immigration officers, or
(2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration
officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains
entry to the United States by a willfully
false or misleading representation or the willful
concealment of a material fact, shall, for the
first commission of any such offense, be fined
under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6
months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission
of any such offense, be fined under title 18,
or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
(b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
Any alien who is apprehended while entering
(or attempting to enter) the United States at a
time or place other than as designated by immigration
officers shall be subject to a civil penalty
(1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for
each such entry (or attempted entry); or
(2) twice the amount specified in paragraph
(1) in the case of an alien who has been previously
subject to a civil penalty under this
Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition
to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other
civil penalties that may be imposed.

I guess you have a lot of Europeans to round up!

Submitted by Anonymous on 20 January 2015 - 4:07am.

I guess you have a lot of Europeans to round up!

European round-up

Submitted by Anonymous on 31 January 2015 - 4:39pm.

If they came here illegally, without documentation or authorization since the current laws went into effect, you're right. Otherwise, European immigrants are here legally. Read the laws.

illegal immigrants don't get food stamps

Submitted by Anonymous on 24 November 2014 - 9:46pm.

: SNAP benefits go to undocumented immigrants.

FACT: Undocumented immigrants have never been eligible for SNAP. Documented immigrants can only get food stamps if they've lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with exceptions for refugees, asylees and children). In fact, immigrants are far less likely to apply for food stamps because they worry about jeopardizing their immigration status and because the application process is especially daunting for non-English speakers.

Important: SNAP is a nutrition program run by the USDA and is not considered a welfare program. Receiving SNAP benefits will not affect a documented immigrant’s immigration status or any effort to gain U.S. citizenship.

Thank You.

Submitted by Anonymous on 21 November 2014 - 10:32am.

Thank you so much for helping out on my research project. This website answered half of my questions already!

You forgot some misconceptions:

Submitted by Anonymous on 7 November 2014 - 1:05pm.

-People need to immigrate to the US in order to be happy and live good lives. Why do we think that if we don’t let someone live in our country we are sentencing them to some awful fate?
-America's resources are infinite. The plains are settled, and our economy has matured. You can't compare immigration a hundred years ago with immigration today.
-Immigrants come for ideological reasons and a love of the US and freedom, not out of self interest. Economic migration is a real phenomenon. Greed is alive, and many immigrants are exploited to send money back home.
-Americans born overseas become citizens of that country. The US is a RARE exception of citizenship by birthright. Your life as an illegal, or even a legal Immigrant in MOST countries in the world would be terrible. You have no rights. Yet people coming here love to talk about their rights.
-Immigrants coming to the US welcome other immigrants to their home countries. Again, most countries have VERY strict immigration laws that restrict both Americans and other nationalities. Does Mexico allow other Latin Americans to come to their country with impunity? Does China, or India open its doors to outsiders? Even those who immigrate to the US retain strong ties to their home country, and opinions about who should be allowed to live there.
-All immigrant groups in the US get along. The truth is many groups think the other shouldn't be there, or new policies should only apply to their racial/national group. I've heard of non-Hispanics being asked to leave immigration rallies.
-People wishing to come to the US know the truth about what it takes to survive. They have likely heard of our "free" schooling and welfare benefits, and how much money they can make an hour compared to their country, but do they know what average rents are, costs of groceries, insurance, etc? Quite often these realities shock them.
-Immigrants plan to stay and plant roots in the US. The truth is that quite often an immigrant's overall plan is to juggle the advantages between both countries. They want American money and cache, but dream of retiring back home, and marrying a really young girl that thinks he's rich. In order for our social contract to work, people have to have a strong emotional investment in our society, land, and legal system. If our prosperity dries up or we face an existential threat, who will be left to defend it? The Americans. Those whose only home is the US and can't just pull the escape hatch. A hundred years ago when immigrants got on a ship, it was goodbye to the old country forever. Today, get off a plane coming from overseas to the US and see who's in the "US Citizen" line...not who you might have imagined.

choice of word

Submitted by Anonymous on 23 November 2014 - 1:47pm.

I think you meant to write that America's resources are finite, not infinite.

you ment finite not infinite

Submitted by Anonymous on 16 December 2014 - 12:33am.

the first like to each statement is the misconception I think, so the author did mean to say infinite.

infinite was correct

Submitted by Anonymous on 15 December 2014 - 12:07pm.

No, he meant infinite. He titled his post "you forgot some misconceptions". Of course the resources are finite.

no illogical spanish "double-negatives" here

Submitted by Anonymous on 20 January 2015 - 12:14am.

Frankly, I DID, for a moment, have to look back at the title of the post to realize the post was correct in it's wording. Indeed, the misconception is that our resources are infinite.


Submitted by Anonymous on 22 November 2014 - 7:54am.

The list above is fact-based. There is evidence presented that can be traced and checked for validity. Your post is filled with an emotional rant that purely comes from inside your head. A good political argument would have some "meat" to it -some evidence. With all due respect, these things sound like they are just YOUR misconceptions.

Consider the following...

Submitted by Anonymous on 16 November 2014 - 3:21pm.

Some of the arguments you make are inaccurate. I would say a majority of immigrants living here do not "juggle the advantages" of both countries. Most immigrants I know have firmly established themselves in the United States, and cannot imagine ever returning permanently to their countries of origin. My own family, who immigrated to the United States, say they feel strange when they return to their country of origin. They still speak the language, hold on to traditions, and know that this is where they grew up. However, after decades in the US, they don't feel like they belong there anymore.

Also, these immigrants are not "exploited" to send money back home. They do it because of the love and compassion they have for their family in their country of origin. My uncle in Mexico worked twelve hour shifts and only made $10 DOLLARS a day! This is not a living wage. He can't always feed his children, and they depend on family in the US to send hand-me-downs. If you saw your family living like this, you can't honestly say you wouldn't help them financially if that were a possibility for you.

And in a way, by not letting immigrants stay here, we are sentencing them to an awful fate. Yes, most immigrants would not have left their homeland, family, their whole lives behind them if their countries were in a better state. Immigrants come to escape hunger, unemployment, no bright future for their kids, and violence. Imagine living in a country where just going out could mean death. While violent crime does occur in the US, it doesn't compare with the crime in other countries. I feel perfectly safe driving down the highway at 3 a.m here in the US, but I would not feel safe driving in Mexico before sunrise, or after sunset.

Before you make out immigrants to be people who only want handouts, think of their difficult situation and all the sacrifices they have made. Many have left their parents, siblings, and other family members forever. Their lack of documentation has left them unable to go back, even when their parents are on their deathbed. Think of these sacrifices and their resilience, and think twice about saying they aren't committed to living in the United States. They are very committed to staying in this great country, even when they are treated inferiorly! They work hard, and even contribute by paying taxes, even though they can't and won't receive those benefits!

America has always been a country of immigrants. Our nation has always been an asylum for the persecuted. Those persecuted for their religion left England and settled in America. When things got dire in Europe, millions flooded to the US. There is no such thing as a "pure" American. We are all made up of other races/ethnicities and that is the beauty of America. That while different, we are all one!

COMMENTARY RE: Anonymous: Consider the Following

Submitted by Anonymous on 21 November 2014 - 9:45pm.

Your comments are spot on. The stereotypes and misinformation perpetrated about undocumented Latino immigrants are distressing. I realize that this country has a long history of not welcoming foreign immigrants when they first came (e.g., the Irish, the Italians, etc.). But I don't see why we need to perpetuate this type of ill-will and even hatred against people who are simply trying to find a better life for their families, and in many cases to survive.

Yes, our resources and available land are not as plentiful as they were as when this country was first "settled" (i.e., taken by force and blood from Indigenous Peoples). But even they immigrated to this land at one point in time. Many people born in the U.S. are quick to make assumptions and fail to do their homework to learn the facts. And these people tend to assume that they somehow "earned" their right to live here by being born here, as if it wasn't a chance occurrence. Or as if they would not be here if at some point their ancestors were not immigrants. But at the same time, they often wish to say that just because someone is born here (i.e., a child usually of Latino parents) should not make them a citizen. It seems that there is a lack of clear, logical thinking on immigration.

Yes, there are some problematic issues. But these are issues which can be solved, if people are level-headed and keep their vitriol in check. To make ill-informed, ill-willed statements about those who have or wish to immigrate here, especially because they are people of color, simply makes U.S. citizens look petty, malicious, and foolish in the eyes of much of the world. If we are truly patriotic, and wish to preserve the original ideals on which this country was founded, we will find ways to work together to solve problems related to immigration without being punitive or spiteful. I hope there are enough citizens here who understand this, and will work together to preserve our true heritage.

An interesting problem

Submitted by Anonymous on 31 October 2014 - 11:20am.

Immigration has always been an interesting issue. I honestly think the United States should do away with its "if you're born here, you're automatically a citizen" rhetoric, particularly with the advent of the ACA. Many other industrialized countries with extensive federal services have. It doesn't make sense for a woman to come here illegally, have a baby right across the border and then boom - the baby is an American citizen? We then have two options: 1) allow the mother to stay here legally despite not qualifying for legal immigration. Since the mother will likely have no resources, she will then become dependent upon federal welfare to support herself and her child. Even if she finds a job, being a relatively uneducated immigrant will mean she likely has a menial job, at best and will probably remain dependent on welfare while she is raising her child 2) separate the baby from its mother (never a desirable option); deport the mother and send the child to social services, so that it then becomes the responsibility of the U.S. government and the taxpayers.

That makes no sense. We should follow the example of other countries, and have at least a few general requirements BESIDES simply being born on U.S. soil to qualify for citizenship. Like requiring that the child's parents were here legally when the child was born or, if that isn't the case, that the child has been here for at least seven years or more or something of that nature.


Submitted by Anonymous on 31 October 2014 - 9:32am.

I am tired of feeling like a racist for being against illegal rights and benefits. Illegal people are of all nationalities; not just Latino. While I appreciate your intentions, your lack of scholarly references and misuse of technicalities make you look like a liar and further support the hatred you are trying to prevent. Im not approaching this as an article, so I won't add references, but I do want to correct you on a few things. If you feel that I am ignorant of something listed below, please do feel free to contact me by email because I do not want to use ignorance to support my standpoints.

Illegal people DO receive assistance

When an illegal person's child is born in the United States, that child is a citizen. The illegal parent can then receive assistance for that legal child. Because the child's welfare is dependent on their parent, the illegal adult(s) are then calculated in the amount of benefits received. Therefore, illegal parents DO receive assistance with food, housing, and education.

Illegal people ARE taking jobs from citizens

It's a misconception that illegal people "work the fields" when on fact farmers usually employ their family and neighbors. That's why many districts allow a break during harvest season. Farmers that employ foreign workers are highly monitored for illegal activity because of this stigma. Illegal people are appealing to food and retail employers because there will be no question of workman's rights. This not only takes away jobs from citizens, but also makes it more difficult for these rights to be enforced for law abiding people.

Illegal people do NOT technically pay taxes

We all pay taxes when we make a purchase or get a pay check, with the exception of food bought with assistance and people who claim many dependents. I will not pretend to be a tax expert, but we're all given the option to have taxes taken out now or at the end of the year. We're also given the option to claim our children. If someone who is illegal claims their children at a low-paying job and receives food assistance they are technically paying taxes, but at a much lower fee than lawful people. These illegal people still receive benefits, as mentioned earlier, because of their child's citizenship.

Anyone who enters the country illegally IS a criminal

If someone sneaks in your back door, they're illegally immigrating into your home. I'm certain that you would not cater to them by assisting with food, shelter, education, and medical expenses while they work independantly and pocket their money for themselves. This is what makes illegal people criminals; they're sneaking in to our home and expecting to be rewarded for it. You cannot compare a home invasion to jaywalking or even stealing.

Undocumented people DO bring crime

Not all undocumented people are violent, but illegal people who commit crimes are allowed unaccountability for previous crimes and are difficult to locate after committing a crime because they are undocumented. They're not necessarily bringing crime, but they're certainly granted much more unaccountability and anonymity to entice criminal activity than a documented citizen.


Submitted by Anonymous on 25 November 2014 - 3:13pm.

I found many things wrong with your statement but the one that really stuck out was the comment about taxes. Illegal immigrants that are trying to become legal can apply for a tax id number so that they can pay taxes. They are not however able to claim their children or any of the other tax credits that citizens that are in the same tax bracket could claim. Many lower income americans pay no income tax when it's all said and done. immigrants then end up paying more and are ineligible for social security when they retire. Also, I worked in retail for many years and I gotta tell you that illegal immigrants are the ones who are spending money in this economy. I can't tell you how many days my store only made any money because of immigrants. Why do you think so many retailers look for workers who speak spanish? Everybody pays the same sales tax here in California.

You don't have to agree

Submitted by Anonymous on 23 November 2014 - 8:21pm.

The article did state various statistics and information to back up it's claims, which can be evaluated for accuracy if ones chooses to; where are your facts or stats that prove these claims to be incorrect? Just because it is not an article doesn't mean you don't need to provide details to back up your claims if you want them taken seriously? Just looks like more generalizations and opinions to me. As you said, you are not a tax expert, yet have no issue giving an opinion not based on any facts or experience. Many American citizens do not pay income tax at the end of the year, nor do many very wealthy corporations, so what is the justification in those cases? Just because you don't send a check to the IRS in April does not mean you do not pay taxes, as the article stated. If a company is not deducting payroll taxes for their workers, that is something the company should also be accountable for. And really, calling someone moving into the country undocumented home invasion? If that's not fear mongering and propaganda I don't know what is. Try looking up some figures first instead of just regurgitating Fox News talking points. Just because you have a differing opinion and don't agree, it doesn't change facts nor make you right. You are welcome have an opinion that defers from a fact, but that doesn't make it any less incorrect.

Exactly, Disagree!

Submitted by Anonymous on 7 November 2014 - 3:13am.

Thank you, Disagree! You are correct in everything you said. The article is clearly trying to pull on the heartstrings of unaware Americans with inaccurate and outdated numbers.

Your comment is the best thing I've read in over 6 years of living near the border! Finally someone with common sense and understanding of illegal immigration. I came here with the beliefs similar to those in the article. but it only took living in a border state less than a year to have some rude awakenings and experience the truth.

I'd like to add that if an illegal immigrant -crossing into our country illegally- isn't considered a criminal, then they certainly would be once they've had to steal someone's identity/social security number or once they operate a vehicle without a legal drivers license OR car insurance.

I am disgusted by your words

Submitted by Anonymous on 9 October 2014 - 10:33pm.

I am disgusted by your words considering most "immigrants" have done nothing but better America. Maybe if these so-called "Americans" would get off their asses and had a bit more talents then they wouldn't lose "their" jobs.


Submitted by Anonymous on 2 December 2014 - 6:17pm.

This is coming from a 11 year old so if i can say this and think it than so can you. I think that every one has the same rights that any one and every one can do what they want the cops in mexico are not doing there job leaving mexico a crime filled place. i went to mexico on a cruse and it was beautiful i loved it but every thing was so small people walking around with nothing for men they were wearing pants and a head band thing women were wearing a dress and nothing else. The crime rate for mexico is 164.82KB yet america's rate is 386.1 estimated 3x more then america but people are always scared that mexico has really bad people they should have more respect then other people because they had a hard time coming here.

Debunking Myths

Submitted by Maya on 16 October 2014 - 5:16pm.

Hi. We're not entirely sure who your comment is directed at. Just to clarify, this article attempts to debunk certain myths, not perpetuate them. Best, Teaching Tolerance


Submitted by Anonymous on 26 September 2014 - 1:18pm.

Business owners here in California should be forced to use E-Verify when hiring. I truly believe a vast majority of people have not problem with immigrants since our own parents and grand parents are immigrants themselves. People are upset with illegal immigration and are tired that our immigration laws are not being enforced.

If you read the article accurately

Submitted by Anonymous on 21 October 2014 - 10:52am.

If you read the article accurately you would know that, your parents and grandparents or great grandparents came here illegally as well. Who made you the chosen one? Share the wealth with others, don't be so greedy.. There is enough to go around. Illegals are not taking away american jobs. There are also not living off Americans taxes. If you would have read the article you would know that they contribute by paying taxes that they will never claim, due to the simple fact that they are illegals. All the money goes to the country. I would know this, I am an accountant.


Our grandparents came here illegally?

Submitted by Anonymous on 31 January 2015 - 5:21pm.

How do you figure American citizens' grandparents (immigrants) came here illegally when there were no such laws to break?

And why should we citizens share the wealth with just anyone who crosses the border? We work and pay our taxes and say our pledge of allegiance without marching down a street with a Mexican flag. They go to school free, they get free medical care, and because many have a child born here, they do get food stamps and WIC, AFDC, and other federal/state benefits. These things alone cost our states billions of dollars a year.

And may I correct you as to their paying taxes? My son worked in construction until the recession. Many of the white men could hardly find and keep a job because the Mexicans were taking the mason and roofing jobs for much less than what it would take an American to live on. They were working "under the table"...no taxes, no insurance, no exceptions. They lived 10-12 to a house or 2-3 families, so they could send money back to Mexico. They drove illegally. If they were sick, they went to the ER and didn't pay. (Now, many illegals are enrolled in ACA because of the ineptness or deliberate actions of the employees.) In no way did they pay INCOME TAXES. And if a strange vehicle, or official government vehicle, drove through the area, they scattered like roaches.

Just because you are an accountant doesn't mean you see every illegal alien's paycheck (or cash). They don't file. Few people making less than $100k a year even use an accountant. I do our own taxes and don't need one. So if you don't know how many taxes we pay, how can you know all about the illegals' tax situation?

Take your own advice

Submitted by Anonymous on 2 November 2014 - 6:14pm.

If you would read his comment accurately you would see that this person says our ancestors were immigrants and that people should not have a problem with them. You basically repeated what he already said and kind of attacked him.

10 Misconceptions about Immigration

Submitted by Anonymous on 18 September 2014 - 7:42am.

Perhaps this document can serve to shed some light over this interesting discussion: http://www.equalrightscenter.org/site/DocServer/REPORT_FINAL_WEB_7.pdf?docID=151

I am a little taken back by the way this is worded

Submitted by Anonymous on 10 September 2014 - 3:51am.

First off, because you're against people who decide to immigrate into the U.S. without going through the proper channels does not mean you blame immigration. In fact I think a majority of people in the United States would agree that we would have no problem at all if all legal channels were followed.

As far as entering the country I have downloaded the forms. I asked about the process of fees from friends who came here legally from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. They said the cost was about 2500 and you had to pay right away. They said they were pretty poor, but the fee was not impossible. They say the wait can be a bother, but like the RMV just because the line is long doesn't mean you can just give up and do it illegally.

Taxes: I was a little taken back by Wikipedia busting myths page which states property owners who are illegals pay property taxes. How can you own property without a social security card? Unless you have a stolen card.

People who enter the country illegally are not all criminals. Technically they have broken a law. People are not saying they're all part of a gang and traffic drugs. They are saying they broke the law to get here and because they have to lie cheat and steal in order to be here, that makes them criminals.

My family immigrated here legally and yes I was born here. It gets me very angry the way this page tries to dismiss everything as if people who are against it are racists who don't want anyone coming here at all or that the countries they are coming from are war zones and Americans are heartless. You hold none of the parents responsible for taking their kids across a treacherous journey in hopes of amnesty. But call people opposed to it heartless while hiding behind children.

a lot of people want to come here from all over the world, so there is a long line to get in. Sorry, but that's the world and we don't need a tragedy of the commons. Just because you become the world hegemony doesn't mean it will always be that way especially if you let everyone run train on the possibility of freebies. Given current agricultural demands as well as feeding current populations. Letting people fill up every free space on the planet is not an option.

Mexico is like the US. It has its good parts and bad parts. Brazil is like the US it has its good parts and bad parts and Ecuador out of all is probably the harshest place to live. But the people of these countries have been disarmed and the War on drugs and not being able to fight corruption and the fact they can't defend themselves against cartel means one thing. That to survive you either run or become part of the corrupt.

Meanwhile the Left it seems stereotypes anyone who realizes America is not a cash cow that can take everyone in the world. I would love too, but it cannot be done. IF you allow amnesty, those here will be eligible for benefits that the taxpayer must pay for considering most would be low education level they would barely be able to survive. You cannot legislate mortality or make their lives better by allowing them in while ignoring where they're forms corruption.

End the war on drugs and push for them to have a second amendment like the United States. They're are disarmed and victims of corruption and violence because they cannot fight evil. Ending the war on drugs would force cartels to go out of business or legitimize. If you wanted to do anything for these people it would be what I have shared.

To add to the reply above...

Submitted by Anonymous on 18 December 2014 - 12:02am.

Undocumented immigrants can obtain tax id numbers which are used in lieu of an ssn. You can open a bank account, file taxes (yes many of them actually do pay income taxes), apply for a mortgage. Did you assume the wealthy foreigners who purchase so much investment property here stole ssns too?

And what exactly do you know about hopeless poverty and trying to raise children under the gun of drug cartels?

you should fact check AND spell check

Submitted by Anonymous on 31 October 2014 - 10:21am.

Yes, you can indeed buy property without a social security #. Not all undocumented immigrants steal social security cards.
This is probably one of the most misguided and ignorant comments i've had the displeasure of reading. It's nice to have a computer to download forms isn't it? Too bad many people do not have this luxury. 2,500 may not seem like much money to you, but in pesos it comes out to about 33678.62 pesos. So YES, this is A LOT of money.
Talking to friends who came here legally does not automatically make you an expert on immigration laws. I regret to tell you that those stories are the exemptions to the rule. Obtaining legal entry to this country is not only a slight inconvenience to the majority of people. The reality is that it is a long drawn out process that takes years to obtain, sometimes even more than 5 years. Some people do not have this long. You really think it's that simple for people to just leave everything they know and love behind to put there lives at risk and live in a foreign country where they don't know anyone or the language? It is not a decision that is made lightly and it is not a decision that is made out of laziness. These people are here because their country cannot provide opportunities from work. We are lucky to have been born in this great country where if you work hard, you can succeed. They are here to work hard and support their family, not because of this "cash cow" you speak of. They look for opportunities to WORK not for free handouts and it's HARD WORK, not some easy desk job. Notice that it's the "illegals" waiting patiently for WORK outside of places like Home Depot instead of standing on a corner with a sign begging for spare change.
It's easy to judge these people when you have never had problems like them and will probably never experience hardship like this in your lifetime. I consider myself blessed, as should you, that we live so removed from those kind of things.

Do not even get me started on agriculture, who do you think is picking all those yummy tomatoes in your damn salad? Although farmers hire Americans first, before any other kind of worker, people have moved away from agricultural labor. The truth is, nobody is raising their kids to be farm workers (at least not many, if any).

Every undocumented person would LOVE to be "legal". Most of the time however the process is onerous, hard to navigate, drawn out, and expensive.

I am surprised you have not been nominated as a presidential candidate with all your expert knowledge on all governments from different countries as well as your deep cartel insight *sarcasm*.

Please take the time to edit your ignorant comments. I can barely understand your ramblings.


Submitted by Anonymous on 8 December 2014 - 11:03am.

Don't blast someone about using spell check and then say "exemptions to the rule."

And how are you the

Submitted by Anonymous on 27 November 2014 - 8:08am.

And how are you the expert?
Standing outside Home Depot waiting for work? You have seen this? Recently? Were you awake at the time?
Farming is done with machinery. Few types require hand pickers.

How about we house all the homeless, get every person a job that allows them to not need any assistance and provide medical care at a cost of no more then 5% of their yearly income.
Then we can start taking in everyone else.
How about putting Americans first? Or is that too un-American for you?


Submitted by Anonymous on 31 October 2014 - 8:04am.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with the immigration process. These things can be hard for someone who only speaks English to understand. I have always found race-based entitlement to be a slap in the face to people who do the back work to get where they want to be in life. It is hard not to feel like a racist profiler when the topic of immigration comes up because it's a question of race-based entitlement falsely represented as an immigration issue. Nobody considers that illegal people can be of any nationality today because the US is next to Mexico. People assume illegal people are only Latino, which is not true.

Both you and the author are trying to demise ignorance and I appreciate that. I found your input to be intelligent and informative. i found the article itself to be lacking in facts, but the intent is positive and I'm glad that it initiated your response.

Check your Facts

Submitted by Anonymous on 7 September 2014 - 4:17pm.

Illegal aliens do indeed qualify for free medical care, free education for their children, free housing, and food stamps. Medical institutions, public schools, housing assistance programs, and food stamp assistance programs are prohibited by law from asking an applicant to prove LEGAL residency. All they need to do is provide an address.

Illegal aliens qualifying for welfare

Submitted by Anonymous on 24 November 2014 - 3:44pm.

I worked as public health nurse in California for many years, Illegals are NOT entitled to welfare, free housing, food stamps, etc. Only a child in the household who was born in the US was entitled and that child did NOT qualify the entire household to more benefits. This is a grave misconception to believe Illegals receive such benefits. Yes, illegals do pay social security taxes knowing their contribution will not be returned to them in any form. Rather than reading opinions of others who think they are in the know; I suggest working in a department such as public health and social services to learn the facts.

Check YOUR Facts

Submitted by Anonymous on 19 November 2014 - 11:48pm.

Not true. Go to any welfare agency and try applying for general relief. You will be given form after form to fill out........again and again. And you need your birth certificate, etc., etc..

First off, the term "aliens"

Submitted by Anonymous on 16 September 2014 - 8:47pm.

First off, the term "aliens" is very ignorant of you. Second off all, you should check your facts. Immigrants DO NOT get any help from the government. People like you are the reason this world is so arrogant.

Why is "aliens" a horrible word?

Submitted by Anonymous on 23 November 2014 - 1:23am.

1. A foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalized citizen of the country where they are living

Don't receive any help from the government? Really?

Submitted by Anonymous on 4 October 2014 - 5:53pm.

Comments like that are the reason that this world is so delusional. Here's a couple of 'headlines'

- U.S. Department of Treasury's inspector general for tax administration issued a startling report entitled “Individuals Who Are Not Authorized to Work in the United States Were Paid $4.2 Billion in Refundable Credits.”
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it could save nearly $70 million from 2015 to 2019 by preventing illegal immigrants from taking advantage of Medicare’s prescription drug program or enrolling in Medicare Advantage plans.


There are MANY cases where illegal aliens get help from the government, either directly or indirectly.

Aliens is the term used in US

Submitted by Anonymous on 19 September 2014 - 6:01pm.

Aliens is the term used in US State Code.

Illegal American citizens

Submitted by Anonymous on 23 July 2014 - 1:04pm.

First: The Pilgrim Fathers entered the country illegally and this was the first crime. Every American is an Illegal. In former times they came in search for a better life.
Second: Can You say, it's okay for us, descendants of the grand-grand-grandfathers of immigration, but not for You, stranger, in quest for happiness?
Third: Is there anything I did not understand in american history?

Illegal American citizens

Submitted by Anonymous on 13 December 2014 - 12:31pm.

Which law did the Pilgrim Fathers break? America (the country) did not exist until July 4, 1776. Some say it was on March 1, 1781, when the Articles of Confederation were ratified, and yet others claim it wasn't until September 3, 1783, which was when Great Britain recognized American independence.
How could the Pilgrim Fathers enter America (the country) when that country did not yet exist? You could say that the Pilgrim Fathers entered an area of land that was later to be known as America (or more strictly, the United States of America).
Also, the 'Native Americans' entered the land mass (that was later to be known as the USA) from Asia.

Are you kidding me? First:

Submitted by Anonymous on 17 October 2014 - 2:01am.

Are you kidding me? First: There were no established states or government with immigration laws to break at the time of the colonization of North America.
Second: Yes, it is a different time now.
Third: Probably a whole lot.

No laws to break??

Submitted by Anonymous on 21 November 2014 - 4:34pm.

No, we just stole the country from the natives already in it, killed them off, put the rest on reservations and called that "Colonizing". Give me a big fat break. At least today's illegal immigrants aren't trying to steal the country, poison the current inhabitants and paint a rosey picture of the whole thing. Plymouth rock is no shining example of the "right" way to do things.


Submitted by Anonymous on 27 July 2014 - 9:07pm.

My forefathers were American Indian! You cannot say that I am here illegally!
Over a period of time the United States had to create an immigration system.
The governor of my state Calif. went through the process and became governor!
Yes, I think there is something you did not understand in american history

Every American is illegal

Submitted by Anonymous on 26 July 2014 - 7:54pm.

I'm not so sure that's the case. What about Texans whose ancestors immigrated to Mexico, and were then annexed into the United States? I'm sure the same broad strokes could be used to color any Caucasian who identifies themselves as American, but I don't necessarily believe that rhetoric accomplishes much good.

If what you meant by your statement is that we should all seek to build upon common ground as brothers and sisters on this Earth, then I agree, 100%

This is an article, not a meme.

Submitted by Anonymous on 16 July 2014 - 12:21am.

First of all, this is an article, not a meme. If one is so concerned about statistics and reference accuracy, then one should do their own research. This article will continue to be here before you decide to write your accusations with out doing your own research.
Secondly, it is unfair that an employer take advantage of undocumented workers, the publisher acknowledged that, but the overall point is not to let every immigrant into America, run it down, and take it over. Rather, the point is that some, and it is still a fraction, do come in seeking a better life. That has always been the case in America. The fact that now America; due to many laws put in place by those who usually oppose immigration, is cheating itself by low-balling undocumented workers and not providing jobs for the average legal American, is beside the point. America now needs to get on the ball and realize those with money, those who own enterprises and industry must help by providing such employment. It is not only possible, but it's a crime that it isn't taking place. The money and work is there. It's too bad we are stuck always pointing our fingers at the ones who are more lowly.
Thirdly and lastly, it is not that anyone is saying anybody is against the support and cooperation of other neighboring countries to do better and be capable of helping their own citizens out, but we only recognize that if that were to take place, then this country would have to be the forerunner of such an accomplishment... and honey, we ain't there yet.

Thanks for teaching Tolerance

Submitted by Anonymous on 7 July 2014 - 11:17pm.

Loved reading this. Great teaching tool for educating people on the myths of immigration.

Open Border

Submitted by Anonymous on 6 July 2014 - 1:10pm.

Ask the students what would happen to their school, hospital, neighborhood, town and country if millions more undereducated and poor people continue to enter this country illegally? Ask them what government support their relatives expected when they arrived in America? The answer is they expected no government handout. Immigrants that came through Ellis Island were checked for illness and overall health. They also needed a sponsor. Ask your students if they think countries should be able to control their borders?

"Open Border"

Submitted by Anonymous on 18 July 2014 - 1:39pm.

There is no "open border" and illegal immigration if falling. (Try reading the article.) By September 2011, Barack Obama had exceeded the number of removals from the United States during the entire Bush Administration.

We have no national health care here - but they do in the South and Central America. The immigrant has LESS disease than we have here are they have higher levels of health care and immunization.

You are trying to interject positions that no one is taking. We have more border agents than ever. We have been deporting more people than ever. We have a second line of "border checkpoints" almost 100 miles AFTER the border. Perhaps you should visit an actual border and see for yourself -- it is not easy to come into this country and there is a great deal of mis-information out there.

We spend $59 billion a year in welfare to individuals and more than $100 billion in corporate welfare and you want to complain about giving someone food stamps? To immigrate into the US, you must have a sponsor (generally the family member, such as the spouse, bringing you into the country) who will testify that he or she has enough money to support you, if you are unable to support yourself, or if you lose your job. This agreement means that within the first 5 years of living in the US, you cannot take welfare. Your family member will be assessed a penalty if you demand it. Oh, and, btw, Immigrant labor-force participation is consistently higher than native-born, and immigrant workers make up a larger share of the U.S. labor force (12.4%) than they do the U.S. population (11.5%). SMH