Sunday, July 2, 2107
by OSP Immigration & Refugee Team
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” -Matthew 25:35
This month we focus on immigration myths. Sorting through the confusing and contradictory claims about immigrants and immigration is a challenge. Two reliable sources of info are the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and their Campaign for Immigration Reform and the Anti- Defamation League, the sources for the information here.
MYTH: Immigrants are overrunning our country, and most are here illegally.
The Facts: Although it is true that there are more immigrants living in the U.S. than ever before the percentage of immigrants in the overall population is not much different than many other times throughout our history. Today immigrants make up approximately 13% of the total U.S. population. From 1900 to 1930, immigrants made up between 12% and 15% of the population, and there were similar percentages in the 1850s and 1880s. During those periods immigrants successfully became part of American society, helping to build the thriving and diverse country we have now, and there is no reason to believe today’s immigrants will be different.
In 2014 there were approximately 11.3 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the U.S., which is actually a significant decrease from the 12.2 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. in 2007. Today, in fact, the net migration from Mexico (the number of people entering the U.S. from Mexico minus the number of people leaving the U.S. to go to Mexico) is around zero.
Myth: Immigrants bring crime and violence to our cities and towns.
The Facts: Many studies have shown that immigrants, regardless of where they are from, what immigration status they hold, or how much education they have completed, are less likely than native-born citizens to commit crimes or become incarcerated. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, while the overall percentage of immigrants and the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. both increased sharply between 1990 and 2010, the violent crime rate in the U.S. during that time plummeted 45 percent and the property crime rate dropped by 42 percent. Studies have consistently found that immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans, and that there was no correlation between crime rates and levels of immigration.
Want to take local action? CALL TODAY to support the Illinois TRUST Act!
The TRUST Act’s main provisions will:
Bar local law enforcement from engaging in immigration enforcement without a court-issued warrant
Assist immigrant crime victims seeking legal protection
Bar federal agents from making arrests in schools and health facilities
Bar local participation in a federal registry based on country of origin or religion
Call Gov Rauner’s Springfield (217-782-0244) and Chicago (312-814-2121) office.
“Hello, my name is ____. I am an Illinois resident, and I am calling to ask that Governor Rauner sign the Illinois TRUST Act, SB-31. This will protect our 4th amendment rights, and will make me, my family and people I care about more secure in Illinois. Can you pass this message along to the Governor? Thank you.”