4 facts on immigration you won’t hear anywhere else
Here I will discuss a few facts on immigration that cover the whole truth on immigration. These are facts you won’t hear from politicians or as much from the mainstream media, at least in their entirety.
If you’ve kept up with the news at all over the past few years since President Trump ran for and then took the office of President of the United States, you have heard about immigration and the infamous wall that Trump and other hardliners on immigration policy are now pushing to the forefront of the American political debate. During the course of the election and this presidency, we have heard a lot of pundits and politicians throw around what they claim to be the facts on immigration. We haven’t heard much about immigration lately with impeachment proceeding presenting a distraction but there is still very much going on. Politico has reported recently that border arrests have doubled in only one year since 2018, and the showdown on immigration continued with the courts as a judge denied an attempt by the Trump administration to expand fast-track deportations. Meanwhile, the Department of Health is overwhelmed by the new influx of refugees.
I have discussed these issues and more in a book I recently authored and published through Amazon. In my book “You’re Wrong About Immigration: An Open Letter to Donald Trump” I lay out the facts on immigration, and in some chapters, I even get to discuss a few that you won’t hear about from the mouths of politicians or often discussed in the mainstream media. Writer and philosopher George Santayana was once attributed with the words “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” and indeed it seems we make the same mistakes with the American immigration system, and indeed our government’s policies as a whole, over and over again. My book is designed both to discuss other ideas but also to educate the reader on the facts on immigration, as I will do in this post. Here are 4 facts I discuss both here and in my book that relate to immigration policy in the United States in one way or another. These are the facts that most people with a voice in American politics will not discuss, but desperately need to.
1. Immigration Is an Economic Boon that Government Cancels Out
Tragically, when it comes to immigration and the economy the facts on this topic are either grossly misunderstood, grossly oversimplified or both. Study after study by many reputable organizations from the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering to the Wharton School of Business (a school the president prides himself in having graduated from), The Hamilton Group run by Princeton University, and the Kaufman Foundation have all shown the benefits that immigration has on the economy.
These are the facts on immigration and the economy:
Immigration drives production and fills labor gaps for jobs that Americans don’t want or can’t keep up with. High-skilled immigrants drive innovation in the workplace and provide their peers with higher wages and improved productivity. Immigrant communities attract foreign investment from international companies into the United States. Immigrants come not only as workers driving production but also as consumers who spike the demand for goods and services. The facts reveal the effects immigration has on the economy are overwhelmingly positive.
To this many have responded in casual political discussion “That’s because of cheap labor” and then continue to assert their original point that immigrants hurt wages and jobs and thus American workers. They then continue to explain that this hurts the migrant workers as well since it leads to exploitation. This is only partly true and oversimplifies the facts on immigration as it relates to the economy and the labor market. I would argue that the aspect of cheap labor due to exploitation is an offset that cancels out many of the economic benefits of immigration. Sure, it helps the GDP and drives production but it can artificially drive down the wage and limit employment opportunities. It also limits an immigrant’s ability to provide an economic benefit as a consumer, which would otherwise drive not just the economy’s capability to produce but also the demand for that production.
An exploration of the facts on immigration policy in the United States will reveal that more often than not government policies are the real problem. Companies are allowed to exploit illegal immigrants because they hold the threat of deportation over them at all times. They are allowed to subject them to lower wages and poor work conditions because as illegals they are unable or unwilling to file grievances with the Department of Labor. Plus, they won’t quit their jobs since no one else will be willing to hire them and/or the employer threatens have them deported if they try or under today’s policies even imprisoned as an illegal alien.
Most immigrants from the south in the past have been men seeking work, but the only economic immigrants we allow are either in high-skilled and high-demand fields that can’t be filled by Americans, or low-skilled workers through our disastrous guest-worker programs. Such programs from the Bracero Program to our H1 and H2 Visa Systems have also allowed exploitation by allowing their employers to hold them hostage, denying them the ability to quit their jobs and work somewhere else, and creating endless bureaucracies unable to enforce program standards.
Not only that but our asylum and refugee programs more often than not deny immigrants the right to work. They are still entitled to public benefits, allowing them instead to take advantage of our ever-expanding welfare system thus remaining in poverty and providing as little economic benefit to the country as possible. These startling facts on immigration policy in the U.S seem to reveal why it’s so hard to really get the whole picture on immigration and the economy.
Migrant workers indeed present some challenges to low-skilled domestic workers, however, research has shown those conditions to be minor and temporary and that domestic workers displaced by refugees almost always go on to get better jobs. Those who suggest immigrants are to blame for the poor state of our economy are pointing their finger in the wrong direction and ignoring the facts on immigration. The simple fact is that everything that’s wrong with the economy can be blamed not on the immigrant but the federal government.
2. Immigrants do Not Have a Crime and Violence Problem-America Does
Research by the CATO Institute, the Hamilton Group, The American Immigration Council, and several others seems to be saying the same thing. Criminology seems to agree too. Immigration does not increase crime, violent or otherwise. Some have asserted quite the opposite that immigration reduces crime, boosts the economy, and provides a revitalizing effect on communities that receive them. Not only that but illegal immigrants to the United States are a little over 50% less likely than American citizens to commit crimes. Almost as interesting, legal immigrants are over 80% less likely to do so, suggesting our vetting system, contrary to the claims of some, is working quite well.
Terrorist groups and gangs have indeed been formed but much of that can be blamed on American policies. America’s violent War on Drugs, and indeed it is America’s, has created gangs and cartels all over the world, many of whom have all but taken over entire governments. We have trained war criminals and terrorists all over the Americas, we overthrow democratically elected civil governments, and we continue to escalate multiple violent situations across the Middle East. For example, we continue to fund and provide logistical support for Saudi Arabia and their war on Yemen, and supply them weapons as they continue to provide funding to major world terrorist groups and seeming to forget they supplied us with the 9/11 hijackers.
Many assume that immigration has supplied us with terrorists, gang members, and indeed “murderers and rapists” but looking at the facts on immigration and American government policies we begin to see the real problem. Immigrants haven’t made our country more violent. The government has.
3. Immigration Isn’t Making Human Trafficking Worse The Government Is
The Polaris Project, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the victims of human trafficking, and the American Psychological Association are just a couple of sources that have agreed that America’s draconian policies on immigration have only made the situation with human trafficking worse. The same is true with our policies on sex work, which hurt the victims more than the traffickers themselves.
Victims are afraid to come forward when they fear they may be arrested, imprisoned, or even deported and potentially banished from the United States for years or even forever. This is the reality for many human trafficking victims and indeed many sex workers as their existence is criminalized by our unsympathetic system. Many politicians have seemed to adopt the belief that being tough on immigration and illegal border crossings will deter the activity, but if anything it makes it easier for predators.
President Trump once claimed in a State of the Union address that his wall and policies, making it harder to enter the country, will put human smugglers and coyotes “out of business” but nothing could be further from the truth. This claim simply ignores the facts on immigration, and the reality of how badly these people truly want to come here. More likely these coyotes will thrive as more refuge and asylum seekers turn to them for an easier entry.
Furthermore, government policies that often claim to be well-intended hurt the children as well. The government claimed during the time of our infamous “family separations” that it was being done for the good of the children since we couldn’t determine if the children were victims of human trafficking themselves. However, in a letter signed by Mike Pompeo and released by the Department of State, the same government agreed this was making the situation worse.
By tearing children from their loving and responsible parents and placing the children in the custody of DHS who could not provide the supervision and emotional care these children needed, they were making children more vulnerable to kidnappings. Many children, enduring poor living conditions in the facilities in which they were placed often become runaways, even further subjecting them to becoming victims.
Big government and tough government is not the answer to human trafficking, and neither is punishing the victims. These policies and these calls for a tougher stance on the issue, simply ignore the facts on immigration and human trafficking.
4. “Tough on Immigration” Policies Hurt American Citizens
Whether we are talking about the Mexican Repatriation or Operation Wetback American citizens have historically, more often than not, have been swept up in major deportation operations. In my post, 3 Reasons Why a Massive ICE raid Is a Bad Idea, I discussed this very issue. The Mexican Repatriation, for example, would oversee the forcing out of over 1,000,000 individuals of Hispanic descent. According to one historian, it’s likely that 60% of them were U.S citizens. Not only that but border and immigration enforcement has been used as an excuse to restrict the rights of American citizens. For example, the Supreme Court has ruled that Border Patrol officials may board and search vehicles without a warrant despite the provisions of the 4th amendment that forbid this, as long as you’re within 100 miles of the border they can do as they please.
It may seem unlikely that immigration matters will be used an excuse to abuse you or your child as an American citizen but not so much when a young girl is illegally detained and terrorized by border officials for more than a day despite her status as an American citizen. This false sense of security further fades away when a young man is held for months due to a glitch in paperwork. Another American was even held mistakenly for over 3 years. The New York Post reported in 2018, that since 2012 ICE has wrongfully arrested and detained close to 1,500 Americans. Americans can expect an increase in these kinds of immigration issues as immigration becomes the excuse to restrict all manner of our constitutional rights.
This was certainly Sheriff Joe’s excuse when he was court-ordered to stop racially profiling Latino Americans in illegal searches, raids, and unlawful detentions. While his main target may have been illegal immigrants, many of his victims were legal residents and even American citizens.
From federal to local it seems that none of us are safe from our officials as citizens inevitably get caught up in massive raid & deportation operations across the country.
The simple fact on immigration is that while it may have once been something of a minor wedge in politics, it’s always been an important issue. As I’ve explained before immigration policy is about more than just rules and regulations that make the process work, it also comes down to our rights and the government’s authorities.
When we give the government the right to take away the rights of an individual for any reason it hurts us all. It provides the justification they need to restrict the rights of anyone they want to for any reason they deem necessary. As I’ve discussed before in my post on birthright citizenship this issue is about more than immigration, it is also about individual liberties as they apply human beings both foreign and domestic.
This important issue is not discussed enough, but more importantly, it’s not discussed correctly. First, too many people ignore the facts on immigration in favor of their partisan views. Second, too few American have found the ability to discuss this issue civilly or effectively because we have not been educated about it or the issues that surround immigration in America. Republicans and Democrats have politicized immigration and given us plenty of bickering. They have provided no real solution because they refuse to acknowledge the real problem: the government is too big, too violent, and too intrusive. These are the facts on immigration, and on everything that’s wrong with American policy as a whole.
My book, written as a letter to the president, discusses these facts on immigration and more. It seeks to shed light on these issues as well as to begin an honest, and enlightening conversation. I encourage you to check it out for yourself on Amazon where you can even steal free a peek inside.