Facts and Myths You Should Know About U.S. Immigration

There are many stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding U.S. immigration. So, it’s a good idea to ask ourselves how much we actually know about it. Here are some facts you are less likely to know about U.S. immigration. Some of them may challenge your perceptions or take you by surprise but they will definitely provide you with a more realistic picture around the topic.

Do immigrants pay taxes?

There is a belief that immigrants do not pay taxes. But the fact is, even undocumented immigrants do.

Each year immigrants pay between $90 to $140 billion in taxes. In 2012, undocumented immigrants paid about $11.8 billion, which included taxes on good and property.

There are other concerns that U.S. immigration threatens to take away jobs from people born in the U.S. To debunk this, if you compare immigrants to citizens, it’s enough to know that immigrants are twice as likely to found businesses. In addition, companies owned by immigrants show higher employment rate. States with many immigrant-owned companies have a higher employment rate for everyone.

Moreover, immigrants contribute to home ownership market faster than the U.S. born population. From 1994 to 2015, immigrant homeownership rate increased by 2.3 percent while U.S. born home ownership remained stable. According to Jacob Vidgor of the University of Washington, immigrants’ contribution to the housing markets is estimated to be $3.7 trillion nationwide.

Is U.S. immigration mostly illegal?

It is a common myth that most U.S. immigration is illegal. In fact, about 40 to 50 percent of illegal immigrants in U.S. have crossed the border legally. What happened is they got their visas as employees, students or tourists and did not return to their home country when their visas expired.

Statistics from the Pew Hispanic Center show that 66 percent of unauthorized adults in the U.S. in 2014 have been residing in the country for about a decade. Those are people who have long integrated into all aspects of life from labor-market to civil society.

Does U.S. immigration boost criminality?

As opposed to the common belief, they do not. In fact, U.S. born population is more likely to commit crimes. Even undocumented immigration is associated with lower crime rates.

According to a study by Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson, police records and census data demonstrate that cities of concentrated immigration are among the safest in U.S.

Other curious facts about U.S. immigration

Since we’ve debunked the most crucial of myths, now it’s time for a couple of curious facts.

Until 1960s male immigrants outnumbered female immigrants. However, starting from 1970’s the situation has changed and up until now there are more women immigrants coming to the U.S.  In 2015, 51.4% immigrant population in the U.S. was female.In 2014, 17% of the civilian labor force in the U.S. consisted of immigrants.

Next, in 2014, 17% of the civilian labor force in the U.S. consisted of immigrants.

In 2014, 29% of immigrants in the U.S. aged 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher compared with the 30 percent of U.S. born citizens.

And lastly, in 2016, the six American Nobel Prize winner in areas of economics, chemistry, and physics were all immigrants.

It is not easy to differentiate facts and myths when it comes to U.S. immigration. But now you are certainly more equipped to do so!

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