Immigration is one of the thorniest and most divisive issues in America today. In every general election, politicians have increased their approval ratings by taking advantage of the immigration crisis in the United States. The issue of immigration, as research reveals, is one of the most understudied and less understood topics by the masses. Myths that have a baseless foundation drive popular perceptions about immigrants in the United States. These myths have caused much trouble for immigrants and have continued to divide the American society. Because of public ignorance concerning the proper facts about immigration, anti-immigration groups, trade unions, and politicians have always taken advantage to propagate and rally support for their agenda. Therefore, educating the American public about the issue of immigration will lead to more development of our country. Despite the fact that immigrants have continued to create jobs and to make our country more economically robust, people still preach hate against immigrants (Hinojosa-Ojeda,2012). There are many cherished myths pertaining to immigrants in the US. One of the most popular myths concerning immigration is that most immigrants are criminals and terrorists.
The myth that most immigrants are criminals and terror agents have long taken root in the American society. Almost everybody living in America was once an immigrant or is a descendant of immigrants. The paradox today is that those immigrating to America are feared to be terrorists and criminals who have intentions to further their malicious activities in the American soil. This myth was widely believed to be true especially after the September 2001 terror attacks. The attack on the World Trade Centre, which killed more than 3000 Americans was one of the few isolated cases that involved foreigners and immigrants turned out to be terrorists in the United States. However, this is not often the case for immigrants. In fact, research done by a Cato Study points out to the fact that the chances of experiencing a terrorist attack perpetrated by immigrants are 1 in 3.6 million per year (Nowrasteh,2016). This research yielded tangible evidence since it was conducted for nearly a decade. There are therefore very slim possibilities that immigrants can turn out to be terrorists.
The belief that immigrants are criminals is one of th most baseless and unfounded myths. Most immigrants come into the United States in search for a more rewarding life and not to be criminals. In fact, studies have come to reveal that immigrants are much less likely to engage in criminal activities as compared to the native-born Americans (Levitt, 2004). During the 1990's for example, there was a sudden influx of immigrants into the United States. Surprisingly, contrary to the common perception that immigrants are criminals, statistics show that as immigration drastically increased during that time, crime plummeted. Therefore, it is a fact that the more immigrants there are in the US, the harder it is to find a criminal. An example of a study to prove this point is that conducted at Buffalo, New York. Bangladeshi immigrants steadily overran buffalo since the early 1990's.The result; there has ever been a decreasing crime rate in Buffalo. In fact, crime has fallen by over 70% since the advent of Bangladeshi immigrants in Buffalo.
The myth that immigrants are criminals and terrorists has been heavily exploited by trade union and politicians to further their selfish interests. One example of how this myth was used was during the 2016 US presidential election campaigns. It was deeply disturbing to hear Donald Trump maligning immigrants during his attacks. He went to a great extent in trying to convince everybody in America that terrorism was a foreign concept. He went on to promise that he would put in place tough immigrants policies to ward of immigrant terrorists once elected into office.The result was that his approval ratings spiked. He managed to leverage hard on peoples ignorance that terrorist activities are related to immigrants.Donald Trump administration has tried to mislead the public into believing the lie that immigrants are criminals and terrorists.For example, the Department of Homeland security recently released a very skewed and erroneous report purported to link terrorisms with immigration.The report, prepared for the American public surprisingly included foreign criminals and terrorists extradited to the US to face charges in its list of immigrant terrorists.The report went on to muddy the water by including foreign terror attacks in its list of immigrant terrorists in America.The result was a nonsensical conclusion that most immigrants are terrorists.If only the public got the facts right. The fact is that the terrorist we have in the US is non-other than the white supremacists and radicalized sovereign citizens who have no immigrant history. The attempts made by anti-immigration groups to cast immigrants as the evilest and dreaded people in America should stop.
The media can be very instrumental in educating the public as regarding who truly immigrants are when it comes to the American national security.It is very discouraging when newsrooms air out misplaced sentiments that try to implicate all immigrants with criminal and terrorist activities.The immigrants, as already seen, are hardworking people who have dreams and ambitions to achieve.Most of them want to be part of the American dream. No wonder they are peaceful people who have no relationship with crime and terrorism. Conservative research groups such as the Cato Institute have often released unadulterated reports that show that there is no relationship between terrorism and immigrants except in some sporadic and isolated cases.
Most of the Americans can trace back their origin to ancestors who immigrated to America centuries ago.These ancestors were not seeking to further violence and criminal activities in the new land.They were humble peasant farmers looking for better lives in the new world.These were people escaping religious persecutions and political strive.They were peace-loving people seeking to find food for their empty stomachs and to run away from poverty.Therefore, framing the new generation of American immigrants as criminals and terrorists is very mean and factually wrong.Those who label immigrants as criminals and terrorists are the enemies of America.These are the very elements calling for the downfall our beautiful country and everything should be done to stop them from sowing seeds of the division between native American citizens and immigrants.
Nowrasteh, A. (2016). Terrorism and immigration: A risk analysis.
Levitt, S. D. (2004). Understanding why crime fell in the 1990s: Four factors that explain the decline and six that do not. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 18(1), 163-190.
Hinojosa-Ojeda, R. (2012). The economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform. Cato J., 32, 175.
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