White Paper

Societal Misconceptions About Immigration Policy in the U.S.

While most Americans will agree that maintaining strict border control to prevent increased rates of illegal immigration is important, there are simply too many illegal undocumented workers in the nation to deport them all back to their respective countries. Also, many American citizens may not realize just how integrated many undocumented laborers are in today’s society and deporting them will leave many low paying occupations with no employees. American society has unfortunately created several misconceptions about hispanic immigrants in the county, whether they are legal or not.

The idea that all illegal workers are actively trying to avoid paying taxes to the government is a misconception of the fact that they still pay taxes in other forms such as for sales and property taxes. Plus, at the local government level, the amount of money provided for public services that the government collects through taxes is barely exploited by the illegal immigrant population. Therefore, the impact is minimal at worst.

Those who claim that illegal immigrants take job opportunities away from Americans are also disillusioned by skewed numbers. Over the past 5 years, the Obama Administration has been cracking down on employers who exploit illegal immigrant workers by paying them well below minimum wage. The truth is that Americans do not even want the jobs that undocumented workers get anyway.

The misconception of criminality has created a stereotype that associates any sort of hispanic looking individual as an “illegal alien” who most like came from Mexico and is in some way associated with the notorious Mexican drug cartels on the news. While it is no lie that there are some immigrants who have engaged in criminal behaviors, there is no concrete evidence that all hispanic immigrants would exhibit such behavior.

If the nation is to experience any sort of effective immigration policy reform, society’s view of immigrants needs to adapt to avoid racialization from entering new legislation for controlling the illegal immigrant population. Racialization basically defines when certain stereotypes or mindsets get attached to a specific race of individuals in a very covert manner, which is why there are cases of illegal immigrant legislation containing some racialization at the local level.

Reform in the shape of a new government program to give illegal immigrants currently residing in the U.S. already for more than five years will be much more effective than just trying to deport them all to their respective countries again. Give the honest and hard working illegal immigrants a chance because they have been discouraged by the absurdity of waiting up to 10 years to get documentation as a resident. If societal changes occur, from the American citizens end as well as the immigrant community, there can be effective immigration reform to solve the problem of illegal immigrants in the U.S.

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