Sunday, March 19, 2017

Just The Facts

I live in Southern Arizona, so for the last 30-plus years, I've been around a high number of Mexicans.  That's my immigrant population.  But I'm originally from New York, which has a whole different group of immigrants - Cubans, Dominicans, Jamaicans, Chinese, etc.  And I also lived in Alexandria, Virginia where we had a very large Ethiopian population.  I love the diversity of our country.  I love meeting people from different backgrounds and learning about their lives.

I've met many immigrants and am always impressed with their drive and desire to make their lives here.  Now maybe I've just been lucky, but at 49 years old, I've lived in seven different states and have traveled to all of them, and I have to say my luck must be outstanding because I've never met the immigrants I hear certain news organizations, or other people, talking about.  I guess I must only attract the good ones.


I'm always perplexed when I hear people talking about Mexicans taking their jobs, or wondering aloud why "illegals" can go to the hospital and get care "for free" (an assumption) when they can't, and making statements about how their kid can't get financial aid for school because they make too much money but a person with the last name of Rodriguez can get all the financial aid they want.  I usually always refute what they say but it's exhausting.  And infuriating.  They just refuse to believe actual facts, data collected by non-partisan organizations with the intention to document and educate.

If you're one of the people who like to spew comments about immigrants because you're just "so sure" what you're saying is true, you might want to educate yourself about what's really happening in the country, what immigrants offer us as a society, and what actually is true.  And if you're a person who acts in the name of a religion, I'm pretty sure the main tenet of that religion is some form of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Try it.


I know this'll be a shocker for those who live in a fact-free universe (sadly, I know several of these people), but let's have a little fun with facts about immigrants.

Here we go...



No human being is illegal. (I wrote about this in 2010)

  • Phrases such as “illegal immigrant” and “illegal alien” replace complex legal circumstances with an assumption of guilt. They effectively criminalize the personhood of migrants, instead of describing the legality of their actions.

  • It is not a crime for an undocumented person to remain in the United States. “As a general rule, it is not a crime for a movable alien to remain in the United States.”
    Source: Justice Anthony Kennedy, Arizona v. United States, 2012

  • It is a violation of federal immigration law to remain in the country without legal authorization, but this violation is punishable by civil penalties, not criminal.
    Source: U.S.C. § 1325 : US Code - Section 1325: Improper entry by alien
Immigration is not one size fits all.
Most undocumented immigrants cannot simply "get legal" and "be a citizen" by filling out paperwork of paying a fee.  The right way to immigrate was at one time to simply show up.  Processing at Ellis Island involved health inspections and naturalization.

  • Many of our ancestors would not have qualified under today's immigration laws.
  • Many European immigrants benefited from "amnesty," such as the 1929 Registry Act.
    Source:  American Immigrant Council
A border wall would be an ineffective immigration restriction.
Immigrants commit less crime than the native-born population.

Immigrants are less likely than the native-born to be behind bars.
Source:  U.S. Census and American Community Survey

Higher immigration is associated with lower crime rates.
  • Between 1990 and 2013, the foreign-born share of the U.S. population increased from 7.9 percent to 13.1 percent and the number of unauthorized immigrants increased from 3.5 million to 11.2 million.

  • During the same period, the violent crime rate declined 48 percent - which included falling rates of aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder.  The property crime rate fell 41 percent, including declining rates of motor vehicle theft, larceny/robbery, and burglary.
Source:  Federal Bureau of Investigation

Annually, undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $11.64 billion in state and local taxes, and pay $13 billion to Social Security.
Source:  Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy Social Security Administration

Immigrants start businesses and grow the economy.

The information for this post came from the Define American website.  There is a LOT of information left out of the immigration debates - where you get your information matters. Because #FactsMatter. 

If you want to know what's missing, and you want actual facts, delve into their site.  You can start HERE to get more detailed information on what I wrote about in this post. 

And remember to show up for immigrants, because documented or undocumented, they show up for us.  



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2016: Blue And Crabby
2015: Drive Less, Make More
2014: While You Were Sleeping
2013: Between Brattleboro And Bennington
2012: Man At Work
2011: Under A Rock
2010: Practicing For Retirement
2009: Truckers Are So Sensitive
2008: Light Sweet Crude
2007: A Antiquing Conundrum
2006: How Can You Not Love This Face?
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

5 comments:

Mick said...

Brilliant post Salena-or as Donald would say "fake news"! Well researched and presented.

heather said...

This is a great post. I would love if you would post this on your facebook page so I can share it with my "alternative facts" friends! LOL!
I try and explain to people that a wall will do next to nothing to keep undocumented people out. Also, if they like their meat and produce they'd better hope that Trump doesn't start mass deportations or there will be nothing to eat and what's available will be very expensive.

When I drove truck, I hauled meat and produce. The only people willing to work in those environments was immigrants, undocumented or otherwise. In fact I read about and heard from truck driving friends about several packing houses trying to hire all the unemployed people in CA in 2009 or 2010 after the economy tanked and for 200 some jobs advertised, less than 20 people showed up.

Thanks for this!

The Daily Rant said...

MICK: Thank you. I'm glad you like my "fake news". LOL I made a few changes to the post and added a link to the site where I got the information for the post. I did another post about this subject in 2010. Here's the link: http://www.salenalettera.com/2010/07/dear-arizona.html


HEATHER: I posted the link on my Facebook page! Share away! You know, you can also share my posts on your social media by using the links at the very bottom of the post - there's a little gray colored icon at the bottom of each post, after the "labels" section. Or just copying the URL to the post.

The wall is useless. Almost half of the undocumented immigrants in this country are people who came here legally and overstayed their visas or work permits. People are just hell-bent on thinking all these people are slithering on their bellies across "the border". I've been to the border. I actually hauled the steel sections of part of the wall they put up in Arizona.

And regarding the work immigrants do - I'd love to see what people would say when they're paying $6.00 for a head of lettuce. I have been all over this country and have seen the people working in the fields - picking and packing celery, picking tomatoes, harvesting almonds and pecans, picking strawberries, lettuce, artichokes, etc. - and I can tell you right now, giving a visual assessment of the people doing the work....not ONE "white" person.

I also working in the restaurant and hospitality industry for years. In my area, most of the housekeeping staff are Mexican. The groundskeeping staff is Mexican. The lobby porters are Mexican. And when I worked in Seattle, the housekeeping staff was Asian and Filipino. In the restaurant business, much of the kitchen staff is Mexican.

These people do valuable work. They add to our economy. They enrich our society. I wouldn't want to live in a country without them. They are the backbone of our nation. Always have been and always will be.

Marlaina said...

Bravo. Keep pushing the facts. Hopefully it's a gateway to understanding and tolerance.

Belledog said...

Great post, and very good points.