People often come to us looking for advice on how to respond to false information they hear about immigrants. In this series, we debunk dangerous myths about immigration. If you would like to be added to our email list to receive these myths and realities, email Katie Graves-Abe.
Immigration Myth 1: Immigrants Don't Pay Taxes
Sources: The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Social Security Administration,
Immigration Myth 2: Immigrants aren't learning English
Sources: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Migration Policy Institute, Pew Research Center
Immigration Myth 3: Immigrants take jobs from native-born residents
Sources: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Urban Institute
Immigration Myth 4: Undocumented immigrants are receiving extensive public benefits
Sources: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Immigration Council
Immigration Myth 5: Immigrants are bringing a crime wave to the United States
Sources: American Immigration Council, Cato Institute
Immigration Myth 6: Immigrants are stressing our public schools
Sources: American Immigration Council, Pew Research Center, The Century Foundation, Harvard Education Letter
Myths and Realities about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
The DACA program was created in 2012 and allowed certain undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children a temporary reprieve from deportation, legal authorization to work and the ability to obtain a driver's license.
In early September, the current administration announced that DACA will be repealed and some of the 800,000 DACA recipients will begin to lose legal status and work authorization as early as March 2018.
Myth 1: The DACA program hurts the economy
REALITY: Research shows that DACA has been beneficial to the U.S. economy and repealing it would cause economic harm. The Cato Institute estimates that repealing DACA would result in a $280 billion economic decline over the next decade, largely due to the loss of tax income that would have been contributed by DACA recipients during that time. Additionally, repealing DACA would cost employers $6 billion in turnover costs (to hire and train new employees to the same level of productivity).
Myth 2: DACA recipients take jobs from American citizens
REALITY: There is no evidence that DACA recipients take jobs from U.S. citizens. Contrary to popular perception, there is not a fixed amount of work available. Often, an increase in the number of workers actually boosts the economy and increases the number of jobs available. Currently, there is a shortage of skilled workers for many jobs in the U.S. and DACA recipients, who tend to have higher levels of education, are filling many of these gaps in our labor market.
Myth 3: The DACA program provides a pathway to citizenship
REALITY: The DACA program allows for a temporary reprieve from deportation, temporary legal status, work authorization, and the ability to obtain a driver's license. DACA recipients must renew every two years and the program does not provide a pathway to citizenship.
Myth 4: DACA recipients are eligible for benefits
REALITY: DACA recipients are not eligible for federal welfare benefits, insurance through the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, or other federal benefits. DACA recipients are eligible for emergency Medicaid services and some states have opted to provide additional benefits.
Myth 5: DACA recipients do not pay taxes
REALITY: DACA recipients pay personal income, property and sales taxes. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that DACA recipients and those immediately eligible for DACA contribute $2 billion a year in state and local taxes.
The Cato Institute
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy