Lawyers Association Exposes Immigration Myths

Lawyers Association Exposes Immigration Myths

America is​ a​ country of​ immigrants; yet today,​ the​ subject of​ immigration is​ quite controversial. the​ issue divides communities and politicians alike due to​ the​ many misconceptions that abound surrounding this matter.

The United States currently houses a​ larger population of​ undocumented migrants than at​ any point in​ its history. in​ the​ 1990s,​ more than 9 million legal immigrants were admitted to​ the​ U.S. in​ 2005,​ 11 million foreign-born individuals were living in​ the​ country in​ an​ undocumented status.

According to​ the​ American Immigration Lawyers Association,​ these migrants are typically alienated from the​ rest of​ American society,​ economically vulnerable,​ and fearful of​ contact with social institutions that provide health care and education.

"America's immigration system is​ broken and needs to​ be reformed so that immigration is​ legal,​ safe,​ orderly and reflective of​ the​ needs of​ American families,​ businesses and national security,​" said Deborah Notkin,​ president of​ AILA.

While the​ large numbers of​ immigrants have led some to​ conclude that the​ country has lost control of​ its borders,​ officials at​ AILA say that the​ true causes and dynamics of​ immigration cannot be so easily compartmentalized.

Developing effective immigration policies requires overcoming the​ prevalent myths about immigration,​ she said.

One misperception,​ Notkin said,​ is​ that migration occurs because there is​ a​ lack of​ economic development in​ migrants' home countries. in​ actuality,​ international migrants do not originate in​ the​ world's poorest nations,​ but in​ those that are developing and growing dynamically. Mexico,​ for example,​ the​ largest single source of​ U.S. immigrants,​ is​ not a​ poor nation by global standards. it​ has an​ industrialized,​ $1 trillion economy and a​ per capita income of​ almost $9,​000.

Another myth is​ that migrants are attracted to​ the​ United States by generous public benefits. in​ reality,​ immigrants are less likely than natives to​ use public services,​ and 5 percent or​ less report using food stamps or​ welfare.

There also is​ the​ misunderstanding that most immigrants intend to​ settle permanently in​ the​ United States,​ Notkin said.

Mexico-U.S migration has been historically circular,​ with 80 percent of​ Mexican immigrants reporting that they made no more than three trips to​ the​ United States and three-quarters staying less than two years.

Lawyers Association Exposes Immigration Myths

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