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Myths that can contribute to negative opinions about immigrants

Many immigrants come to America hoping for a better life. Some common myths may contribute toward a discriminatory attitude against immigrants.

Life may be difficult for immigrants, especially if they face cultural and language barriers at work and in school. Additionally, many native-born Americans hold onto misconceptions about immigrants that may make it even harder for immigrants in Kentucky and elsewhere to integrate into society.

NBC News states that more than 40 million immigrants currently live in America. Many foreigners who live and work in the United States face some type of prejudice or discrimination, ranging from employment abuse to harassment in public. The following points debunk a few of the most common immigration myths.

Are most immigrants criminals?

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, most people who move from their home countries to the United States do so to work, study or create a better life for their families. Crime statistics involving immigrants have decreased in recent years.

Are American jobs being taken by foreigners?

Many of the job positions that immigrants fill, from skilled labor to specialized services, complement the jobs that Americans have instead of competing with them. Immigrants tend to have a different skill set from native-born Americans, and their jobs enhance the overall work environment across many industries. Additionally, some immigrants open businesses and create new job opportunities for others.

Do immigrants take advantage of welfare?

Welfare programs, such as Medicaid, food stamps and other social services, are for the most part unavailable to immigrants until they have lived in the country legally at least five years. On the other hand, immigrants who work in the country pay into Social Security and other social programs.

Are immigrants exempt from paying American taxes?

All immigrants pay taxes in America, whether they buy goods and services, pay rent or work. The financial contribution that immigrants put into the economy is significant.

Do immigrants think they do not have to speak English?

On the contrary, most non-English speaking immigrants believe that they will need to learn English in order to succeed at work and socially, as well as to allow them to become American citizens in time. The demand for English classes is currently higher than ever before.

Are all immigrants illegal?

Only about one-third of all immigrants currently living in the country are undocumented. The other two-thirds have some form of legal or permanent residency status.

Immigration can be a contentious topic, but when people consider the human aspect of why people come to America, they may begin to be more understanding. An experienced Louisville immigration attorney may be able to help if a legal issue arises.