Rational Middle Holds Immigration Mythbusting Summit
"When it comes to divisive topics, immigration is among the most divisive in America today. Voices on either side feel unheard while half-truths and misinformation spring forth from cable news, social media, and even politicians. So what are the facts and how do we have productive conversations around these topics?"
In their recent Immigration Mythbusting Summit, The Rational middle brought together national experts to explore the myths and realities of immigration concerns in an effort to dispel misinformation with understanding and facts.
Click below to watch the summit and learn more:
The Rational Middle also provided compiled research related to five immigration myths to help create a greater understanding of the facts and data surrounding these misconceptions:
Myth #1: Immigrants steal American’s jobs and drive down wages.
Fact: Immigrants expand the U.S. economy’s productive capacity, stimulate investment, and promote specialization – none of it at the expense of jobs for U.S.-born workers. Read on:
- “12 facts about immigration.” Brookings Institute, (2018).
- “The Effect of Immigrants on U.S. Employment and Productivity.” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, (2010).
- “The Unemployment and Immigration Disconnect.” Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Law Foundation, (2009).
Myth #2: Immigrants are a burden on American healthcare.
Fact: Immigrants are less likely to use health care, have fewer expenditures than US-born individuals, and help keep Medicare solvent. Read on:
- “Comparison of Use of Health Care Services and Spending for Unauthorized Immigrants vs Authorized Immigrants or US Citizens Using a Machine Learning Model.” Journal of the American Medical Association, (2020).
- “Medical Expenditures on and by Immigrant Populations in the United States: A Systematic Review.” International Journal of Health Services, (2018). [If you don’t have journal access, read a review of study findings here.]
- “Unauthorized Immigrants Prolong the Life of Medicare’s Trust Fund.” Journal of General Internal Medicine, (2016).
Myth #3: Immigrants strain the education system and take resources away from American children.
Fact: Immigrants enrich classrooms and positively influence the academic achievement of their U.S.-born peers. Read on:
- “Diversity in Schools: Immigrants and the Educational Performance of U.S. Born Students.” National Bureau of Economic Research, (2021).
- “Are immigrant students disproportionately consuming educational resources?” Brookings Institute, (2019).
- “Unwelcome guests? The effects of refugees on the educational outcomes of incumbent students.” National Bureau of Economic Research, (2017).
Myth #4: Immigrants bring crime; local police should capture undocumented immigrants.
Fact: Immigrants have lower crime, arrest, and incarceration rates than U.S.-born individuals; the entanglement of local police forces and immigration enforcement demonstrably harms the communities in which it occurs. Read on:
- “Is There a Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime?” The Marshall Project, 2019.
- “The Negative Consequences of Entangling Local Policing and Immigration Enforcement.” Center for American Progress, 2017.
- “The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation.” American Immigration Council, 2007.
Myth #5: Immigrants don’t want to integrate, learn English, or participate in American culture.
Fact: Immigrants today learn English at rates as fast or faster than any previous wave of immigrants, and are on average more assimilated than at any point since at least the 1980s. Read on:
- “The Integration of Immigrants into American Society.” National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, 2015.
- “Measuring Immigrant Assimilation in Post-Recession America.” Manhattan Institute, 2013.
- “Becoming American/Becoming New Yorkers: Immigrant Incorporation in a Majority Minority City.” Center for Migration Studies, 2012.