One of the most common question among people new to immigration systems is “why don’t they just apply to be citizens?”. This is an easy question with a complicated answer. The reason why undocumented immigrants do not apply to be citizens is because there is no legal process, pathway, or even application for most undocumented immigrants.
The current immigration system requires most immigrant applicants to have a “sponsor” in order to apply for status, this sponsor must be an immediate relative or employer. However, there are many more applications than there are available visa spots – meaning that people have to wait years, even decades for a viable means to gain legal status. Even then, it is not guaranteed that an immigrant will gain legal status in the U.S.
Check out this fun infographic that explains our current legal immigration system.
Many people unknowingly share immigration myths without knowing they’re untrue, especially given our current immigration climate. Here are some common immigration myths that are not factual.
Immigrants do not pay taxes
Many believe undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes. The reality is that undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in federal, state, local, unemployment, medicare, social security, excise, and sales taxes among. Not only that, since they are not eligible for most tax benefits (such as Social Security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, federal housing programs, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, unemployment insurance) undocumented immigrants never receive the benefits associated with paying taxes.
Immigrants take jobs from U.S. workers
The reality is that immigrants help our economy. Immigrants are twice as as likely to open a business than U.S. born individuals (New American Economy). These local businesses employ U.S. workers, doing the opposite of “stealing jobs”. Additionally, what we are repeatedly seeing is that U.S. citizens refuse to do the kinds of jobs that many undocumented immigrants do as a last resort; jobs almost always require extraneous manual labor.
Learn more about the U.S. Immigration Process
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