Immigration Myths a Myth May Be Described Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Immigration Myths

A myth may be described as a false set of beliefs that people form in order to justify a form of social institution or social construct. The immigration myths revolve around the people that settle in from one country or part of the world to another. There are some common misconceptions in the society that pass justifications of how and why immigration may be a strain on a society and affect the region they migrate to. Some of these immigration myths are highlighted below:

The immigrants do not pay their taxes

According to the Cato Institute, many people believe that the immigrants in any country live in the country without paying any taxes. They think that because they are not the permanent residents of the country, they can get away without being charged with any taxes (Chiswick, 1992). This however, is not true. It is the duty of all immigrants to pay their due taxes, whether these are direct taxes like income tax and excise duty or indirect taxes like the sales tax or any other form of taxes. Some studies and records of statistics show that an average of $90 to $140 is generated as taxes received by the government from the immigrants alone. These make up all the direct and indirect taxes and the amount generated is constantly increasing with the increasing inflow of immigrants in any country.

2. Immigrants come in to take advantage of welfare benefits

Another myth that surrounds immigrants is that their basic motive of moving in to the new country is so that they can avail the welfare state benefits and gain advantage of the opportunities that the government offers to the citizens there. In reality, this may not be true. Most of the times, the people migrate to another country to reunite with their family, to gain better job opportunities or to get further education. They also give in their share of the labor force by working and contributing to the economic sector which makes them eligible to avail and make use of the benefits if they receive any. Statistics show that in the United States, the immigrants earn around $240 billion out of which they pay about $90 billion as their due taxes and approximately $5billion on public welfare which makes it unreasonable to generalize that they come in to take advantage of the locals' welfare benefits.

3. Immigrants occupy the jobs of the locals

Some myths surrounding immigration suggest that the immigrants that flow in the country and take up the jobs of the locals. They basically say that the overall jobs in the country get distributed among the locals as well as the immigrants. This however, cannot be treated as entirely true because there are certain kinds of menial and low paid jobs that the locals want the immigrants to do because they don't want to do the "D jobs" which undertake the difficult, dirty and dangerous jobs. When the immigrants are unavailable, the natives often take on these jobs like those of mowing lawns, serving food in restaurants, cleaning their houses, etc. These immigrants often work under low wages and poor working conditions under which natives would have trouble working in (Simon, 1989). They may even agree to perform a lot of jobs manually which the natives would want machinery and high technology to perform and they then charge for their skills as well. The manual and cheap labor helps save up on costs as well. However sometimes it is stated that the natives do not perform these low paid jobs and have difficulties when these immigrants are unavailable to perform these "D jobs" which is certainly not true.

4. The sealing of the borders will help stop the inflow of illegal immigrants

Some myths suggest that there is a problem of an influx of illegal migrants every year in some countries. They believe that this problem can be put an end to by sealing the borders and restricting the number of immigrants that come in. They also state that the most common fraudulent activities in this field is when people like students, workers or valid visitors violate the terms and conditions of their stay by exceeding the number of days they were permitted to stay there (Hamermesh, 1998).

According to these people, there is an entire market of labor that is purely those who have violated their visas and are illegally residing…

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