Debunking four immigration myths

Many people in New Jersey misunderstand how immigration law works here in the United States. Below are four common myths and the facts about each.

Immigrants pose a unique risk today because of terrorism

There’s not much of a difference between foreign-born people and native-born people when committing a terrorist attack. Between 1975 and 2017, 1 in 3.8 million immigrants per year committed terrorist attacks that murdered citizens.

Immigrants bring with them bad cultures, ideas, or other factors that will undermine and destroy our economic and political institutions

There is no evidence that immigration results in weakening economic growth. Immigrants don’t destroy more wealth than they create in the long run. There’s no evidence that immigrants undermine cultural, political or economic institutions.

Immigrants increase economic inequality

There could be some truth to immigrants increasing economic inequality. Some research shows small effects and other research shows significant effects. The standard of living is more important than the income distribution.

The brain drain of smart immigrants to the US impoverishes other countries

The US looks for immigrants that have skills that can improve the workforce. The flow of skilled workers immigrating to rich nations increases the incomes of people in the destination country. Skilled immigrants enrich the immigrant community and may help their home country. Even if their home country doesn’t benefit, the ones left behind aren’t economically hurt.

The arguments against immigration in this article are some of the most common myths. Arguments about immigration tend to connect with fairness, but fairness means different things to different people. To have a more honest conversation about immigration, people need facts instead of opinions.

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