March 17, 2010

MYTH: Immigrants who come without documents are jumping the line!

The claim that illegal immigrants are “cutting in line” is blathered on talk radio all of the time. But, the truth is, there is no line for most undocumented immigrants. Before throwing your hands up in frustration and defeat when you hear this myth, consider responding with these quick mythbusting facts!

FACT: There is no “line” for the vast majority of undocumented immigrants. Accusations that immigrants in the U.S. illegally — numbering an estimated 12 million, and representing five to six percent of the U.S. workforce — should simply get in line miss the point: There is no line and the “regular channels” do not include them.

FACT: Approximately 500,000 undocumented immigrants enter the U.S. each year — most coming to work and typically to do so in the service sector — yet there are only 5,000 green cards for unskilled workers. Until there are more legal avenues for employers to hire immigrant workers, illegal immigration will fill the gap and we will not gain the control over immigration that the American people demand.

More mythbusting facts on this issue can be found in Why Don’t They Just Get In Line? The Real Story of Getting a “Green Card” and Coming to the U.S. Legally, a report from the Immigration Policy Center

-American Immigration Lawyers Association