The restrictionist movement is on the march again!  This time, however, we will not repeat the mistakes of 2007.  We, who know the true nature of immigration, must ensure that our voice is just as loud if not louder than the fear mongering.   With that, I give you our opening salvo.  Enjoy... and feel free to share.

All research has been made possible through the Reason Foundation, the CATO Institute and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Whopper #1
llegal immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans.

Truth: There is very little overlap between American jobs and immigrant work.  The vast majority of the undocumented population speak little English, are low skilled, are uneducated and secure the worst paying jobs.   By contrast, only 7% of the American labor force has less than a High School diploma and the cities with the highest unemployment rates are in the Midwest, that coincidentally have the lowest rates of immigration.

Bottom line:  An English speaking American who has taken advantage of all this country has to offer does not compete with undocumented workers for the same jobs.   Immigrants have always come to do immigrant work.

Whopper #2
Legal immigration is fine, but illegal immigrants should be punished for having broken the law.

Truth: Immigrants have been coming to this country without proper documentation since the pilgrims first landed on Plymouth Rock.  The problems we are facing today are caused by an overreaching government bureaucracy that was nonexistent when many of the ancestors of todays Americans came to this country.   In the name of protectionism, we have made it impossible for the much needed low skilled worker to come work here legally and for individuals already here to legalize their status.

Whopper #3

Illegal immigrants are a drain on our economy because they dont pay taxes.

Truth: Everyone in this country, legal or not, pays sales taxes and property taxes either through their mortgage or rent.   Moreover, 2/3 of the undocumented pay income, social security and Medicare taxes through the use of false social security numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers.   These contributions amount to billions of dollars into the U.S. Treasury every year, which they will never see returned unless they send their children to public schools or visit an emergency room.

Whopper #4
Illegal immigrants and children have flooded the public school system & the emergency rooms.

Truth: Yes, they have.   This one is true.  The poor in any society will always consume the most entitlements offered by the government.  That is simply human nature.  The problem is that we have turned the land of opportunity into the land of entitlements, and feel justified in claiming these entitlements only for those we consider to be truly American.   If we want to return this country to its former glory, we need to get EVERYONE off the government dole.

Whopper #5
The complexion of America is changing.

Truth: This one is also true, and it appears inevitable.   However, that should not matter in a color blind society as long as the people maintain the original vision of our Founding Fathers.

Whopper #6
Illegal immigrants have no interest in learning English or assimilating into American Society.

Truth: Americans have been concerned about foreign language speakers on our soil ever since Benjamin Franklin feared the Germans living in Pennsylvania would never assimilate.   Thankfully (or not), nearly all U.S. households are English-only by the 3rd generation in this country.

Whopper #7
We are being invaded from the South.

Truth: We have approximately 10 million undocumented aliens in a nation of 300 million people, constituting approximately 3% of the total US population, hardly an invasion.  This percentage was much higher at the beginning of the 20th century when immigration was primarily from Europe.   However, since most illegal immigration does come from the South, its easy to see why those who live in Border States would feel overwhelmed.

Whopper #8
The problem with our immigration system is that our current laws are not being enforced.

Truth: It is precisely the enforcement of our draconian immigration laws that have caused this mess.  Since 2001, for the first time in United States history, a person seeking a better life who arrives at our doorstep without proper documentation cannot legalize their status.  Making matters worse, anyone already illegally here over a year, automatically cannot return for ten years, if they depart the country for any reason.   Our unenforced laws have, in essence, trapped the undocumented within our borders.  The only real unenforced laws are employer sanctions which have never worked, nor will ever work because they are simply not good for American businesses.

Whopper #9
Our local police should assist the Department of Homeland Security in capturing illegal aliens.

Truth: Not only is immigration exclusively a federal issue, as specifically outlined by the United States Constitution, but our local law enforcement already have their hands full attempting to capture real criminals.  Moreover, effective law enforcement is based on community trust where people feel confident that they can call the police if necessary.  This trust will undoubtedly be destroyed if our local police are turned into de facto ICE agents, resulting in an increase in crime and chaos.

Whopper #10
A wall will keep people from entering the United States.

Truth: As long as America remains the land of opportunity, people fleeing death and misery, will find a way to climb under, jump over, or go through any barrier erected.  The only realistic barrier would be human bodies, perhaps our soldiers.   And how do we stop the 40% that come in legally but overstay?  It would be wiser to develop a program that encouraged those seeking a chance to work hard to come here legally.

Whopper #11
Illegal immigrants bring with them a wave of crime & violence.

Truth: Immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, commit crimes at far fewer levels than the American population.   The last thing a rationale immigrant wants is contact with the law that could result in their deportation.  Unfortunately, the much more common drunk American that kills a family doesnt incite as much passion in the populace as his counterpart whose here illegally.  Now thats newsworthy!

Whopper #12
Mexicans want to re-conquer the Southwestern United States.

Truth: This one defies logic.   Why would any immigrant want to turn the land they are going to, into the chaotic and miserable place they just left?   Certainly there are few in any group who have misguided goals, but because of our marketplace of ideas, they are little more than fringe elements.

Whopper #13

Legalization/Amnesty is unpopular and sends the wrong message.

Truth: Historically, all immigration reforms have been unpopular.  Ironically, we tend to look fondly on our immigrant past, while fearing our immigrant present.    In retrospect, which immigrants can we say were mistakes to have let in?

The idea that we must be perceived as strict followers of the law (even one that is unjust) rather than  a compassionate culture is a step in the wrong direction.  Instead of labeling amnesty as a reward for bad behavior, it should be seen for what it is:  the last step in the necessary process of overhauling our immigration laws reserved only for those that have come to contribute, have worked hard and stayed out of trouble.

Perhap most importantly, what would be a realistic alternative?

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