Courtesy of the Immigrant Rights Action Group of Doylestown.
Propaganda is a powerful tool. Truth is a powerful antidote.
The current administration has created a false narrative around the story of immigration as a way of dividing and isolating people from one another, and of making us afraid. Stoking fear is a strategy to gain control. People who are afraid are more apt to compromise on things they believe in.
You can help to counter the dangerous, racist narrative around immigration. In an era where traditional sources of information are no longer trusted, you have more power than you know by simply having personal conversations. Speak with someone; a neighbor when cutting the grass, a co-worker at the lunch table, a friend at a party, and counter the narrative.
Here are the facts:
Immigrants make our communities less safe: False!
Undocumented immigrants represent only 3.4% of the total US population. And Immigrants are 25% less likely to commit a crime than native-born Americans. We would be made much safer by focusing our resources on other issues such as gun violence, mental health, or substance abuse prevention.
Immigrants are milking the American taxpayer: False!
The most recent IRS data, from 2015, shows that the agency received 4.4 million income tax returns from workers who don’t have Social Security numbers, which includes a large number of undocumented immigrants. That year, they paid $23.6 billion in income taxes. They paid billions of dollars for benefits they will never be able to use.
Immigrants are taking jobs that Americans need: False!
A recent study estimated the consequences if all undocumented New York agricultural workers are deported: There would be a 24 percent fall in farm production (amounting to $1.37 billion in commodity value lost) and a knock-on effect of nearly 45,000 lost jobs across the state. In 2017. Fortune Magazine reported that in two California counties alone, 13 million in crops were left unpicked, and predicted higher prices for produce.
Immigrants are flooding the southern border: False!
According to data from the Department of Homeland Security, illegal crossings are now at historic lows—about one-fifth of what they were at their peak in the late-1990s and early-2000s.
Immigrants can just get in line and follow the legal process: False!
The fact is there are different lines for different people. Certain types of people have to wait decades to apply for an immigrant visa, while others take a much shorter amount of time. A U.S. permanent resident’s unmarried son or daughter, who is 21 years old or older, will have to wait roughly 20 years to file an application for an immigrant visa if they’re from Mexico, according to the State Department’s visa bulletin.
Criminal groups like the MS-13 are taking advantage of the U.S. asylum or immigration system to place gang leaders in the United States. False!
Of all unaccompanied minors apprehended at the southwest border since 2011, 0.02 percent were either suspected or confirmed to have ties to gangs in their home country, according to U.S. Border Patrol Acting Chief Carla Provost. That’s 56 minors out of 250,000. The MS-13’s membership makes up less than one percent of all criminally active gang members in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Learn more about facilitating dialogue at www.better-angels.org
Support the Immigrant Rights Action Group of Doylestown Legal Defense Fund, which has raised more than $9000 since we formed in 2017. 100 percent of this money has been used to secure ethical immigration attorneys for neighbors, co-workers and community members facing deportation.