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Immigration Myths


"The so-called “illegals” are so not because they wish to defy the law; but, because the law does not provide them with any channels to regularize their status in our country – which needs their labor: they are not breaking the law, the law is breaking them."

Most Reverend Thomas Wenski, Bishop of Orlando



Alert the Press






Immigrants, the scapegoat of economic problems.

November 22, 2008

To all Mass Media Conglomerates

Dear Sirs:

I would like to start my message with a quote from Most Reverend Thomas
Wenski, Bishop of Orlando

"The so-called "illegals" are so not because they wish to defy the law;
but, because the law does not provide them with any channels to regularize
their status in our country - which needs their labor: they are not
breaking the law, the law is breaking them."

I would like to add that there are many myths surrounding immigrants:

Immigrants don't want to learn English: FALSE
The development of English proficiency among non-English speaking
immigrants today mirrors that of Nineteenth and early Twentieth century
immigration, when masses of Italian, German, and Eastern European
immigrants came to America. While first generation, non-English speaking
immigrants predictably have lower rates of English proficiency than native
speakers, 91% of second generation immigrants are fluent or near fluent
English speakers. By the third generation, 97% speak English fluently or
near fluently. (Source: Shirin Hakimzadeh and D'Vera Cohn, "English
Usage Among Hispanics in the United States," Pew Hispanic Forum, Dec. 6,
2007. http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=82; Janet Murguia
and Cecilia Muñoz, "From Immigrant to Citizen," The American Prospect
(Oct. 23, 2005), http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=10487)

Immigrants Don't Pay Taxes: FALSE
Undocumented immigrants pay taxes. Between one half and three quarters of
undocumented immigrants pay state and federal taxes. They also contribute
to Medicare and provide as much as 7 billion dollars a year to the Social
Security Fund. Further still, undocumented workers pay sales taxes where
applicable and property taxes—directly if they own and indirectly if they
rent. (Source: Immigration Policy Center, "Undocumented Immigrants as
Taxpayers," (November 2007),
http://www.ailf.org/ipc/factchecks/UndocumentedasTaxpayer.pdf; Eduardo
Porter " Illegal Immigrants are Bolstering Social Security with Billions,"
New York Times, (April 5, 2005),

Immigrants Increase the Crime rate: FALSE
Recent research has shown that immigrant communities do not increase the
crime rate and that immigrants commit fewer crimes than native born
Americans. While the undocumented immigrant population doubled from 1994
to 2005, violent crime dropped by 34% and property crimes decreased by
32%. Furthermore, Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson has found that first
generation immigrants are 45% less likely to commit violent crimes than
Americanized, third generation immigrants. (Source: Immigration Policy
Center, "Ímmigrants and Crime: Are They Connected," December, 2007,
http://www.ailf.org/ipc/factchecks/CrimeFactCheck10-16-07.pdf; Robert
Sampson, "Open Doors Don't Invite Criminals," The New York Times, March
11, 2006, A15; Executive Office of the President: Council of Economic
Advisors, "Immigration's Economic Impact," June 20, 2007,

Immigrants Take Jobs Away from Americans: FALSE
A recent study produced by the Pew Hispanic Center reveals that "Rapid
increases in the foreign-born population at the state level are not
associated with negative effects on the employment of native-born
workers." In fact, given that the number of native born low wage earners
is falling nationally, immigrants are playing an important role in
offsetting that decline. The Urban Institute reports that between 2000
and 2005 the total number of low wage workers declined by approximately
1.8 million while the number of unskilled immigrant workers increased by
620,000, thus offsetting the total decline by about a third.
(Source: The Urban Institute, "Trends in the Low-Wage Immigrant Labor
Force, 2000-2005," March, 2007,
http://www.urban.org/publications/411426.html; Rakesh Kochhar, "Growth in
the Foreign Born Workforce and Employment of the Native Born," Pew
Hispanic Center, August 10, 2006,

Immigrants are a drain on the United States Economy: FALSE
The immigrant community is not a drain on the U.S. economy but, in fact,
proves to be a net benefit. Research reported by both the CATO Institute
and the President's Council of Economic Advisors reveals that the average
immigrant pays a net 80,000 dollars more in taxes than they collect in
government services. For immigrants with college degrees the net fiscal
return is $198,000. Furthermore, The American Farm Bureau asserts that
without guest workers the U.S. economy would lose as much as $9 billion a
year in agricultural production and 20 percent of current production would
go overseas.
(Source: CATO Institute, CATO Handbook for Congress: Policy
Recommendations for the 108th Congress,
http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb108/hb108-63.pdf; Executive Office of
the President: Council of Economic Advisors, "Immigration's Economic
Impact," June 20, 2007,
http://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/cea_immigration_062007.html; Derrick Z.
Jackson, "Undocumented Workers Contribute Plenty, The Boston Globe, April
12, 2006,

Undocumented immigrants are a Burden on the Healthcare System: FALSE
Federal, state and local governments spend approximately 1.1 billion
dollars annually on healthcare costs for undocumented immigrants, aged
18-64, or approximately $11 in taxes for each U.S. household. This
compares to 88 billion dollars spent on all health care for non-elderly
adults in the U.S. in 2000. Foreign born individuals tend to use fewer
health care services because they are relatively healthier than their
native born counterparts. For example, in Los Angeles County, "total
medical spending on undocumented immigrants was $887 million in 2000 - 6
percent of total costs, although undocumented immigrants comprise 12
percent of the region's residents."
(Source: The Rand Corporation, "RAND Study Shows Relatively Little Public
Money Spent Providing Healthcare to Undocumented Immigrants," November 14,
2006, http://www.rand.org/news/press.06/11.14.html; Dana P. Goldman, James
P. Smith and Neeraj Sood, "Immigrants and the Cost of Medical Care,"
Health Affairs 25, no. 6 (2006): 1700-1711)

I would like to conclude stating that it would be unfair for the media to
use us, immigrants, as the scapegoat of economic problems.


Juan Eduardo Alvear-Fuentes

Juan Eduardo Alvear

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For we all are pilgrims and immigrants in a foreign land. We have become citizens and nationals of Heaven through our baptism. We are sons of God. By Eduardo Alvear, Catholic. Please note that Jesus Christ got crucified by the Jews and Pilate for making this claim. He was accused of subversion.
Immigration Myths

"Jesus is the lodestar of human freedom: without him, freedom loses its focus, for without the knowledge of truth, freedom becomes debased, alienated and reduced to empty caprice. With him, freedom finds itself." Benedict XVI, Address to Participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (10 February 2006): AAS 98 (2006), 255. EUCHARIST: SOURCE AND SUMMIT

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