7 Myths That Make the Immigration Debate a Sticky Mess
The Brookings Institute think tank has pinpointed seven immigration myths they believe cloud the immigration debate.
1. Illegal immigrants don't pay taxes. Guess what, yep they do. About $162 billion annually according to one study.
2. The U.S. rarely deports illegal immigrants. False, 350,000 are deported annually.
3. Economics and business drive U.S. immigration policy. Not exactly. About 1 million official visas are awarded yearly, two-thirds are for family unification. Just 15 percent are given for employment purposes.
4. The U.S. tries to attract scientists, engineers and technology experts. Not so much; 65,000 visas out of 1 million are allocated for high-skill workers.
5. Immigrants are treated fairly by the courts. When it comes to deportation, immigrants with a lawyer win their cases close to half the time. Without a lawyer, only 16 percent of them win.
7. News stories about immigration are balanced. Studies show news outlets are twice [pdf] as likely to focus on the cost versus the benefit of immigration.