Immigration Myths and Facts
MYTH: Immigrants—particularly Latino immigrants—don’t want to learn English.
FACT: Immigrants, including Latino immigrants, believe they need to learn English in order to
succeed in the United States, and the majority uses at least some English at work.
MYTH: Immigrants don’t want to become citizens.
FACT: Many immigrants to the United States seek citizenship, even in the face of difficult
requirements and huge backlogs that can delay the process for years.
MYTH: Immigrants don’t pay taxes.
FACT: Almost all immigrants pay income taxes even though they can’t beneﬁt from most federal
and state local assistance programs and all immigrants pay sales and property taxes.
MYTH: Immigrants send all their money back to their home countries instead of spending money
FACT: Immigrants do send money to family members, making it possible for more people to stay
in their home countries rather than migrating to the United States. Importantly, sending
remittances home does not keep immigrants from spending money in the United States.
MYTH: Immigrants bring crime to our cities and towns.
FACT: Immigrants are actually far less likely to commit crimes than their native-born
counterparts. Even as the undocumented population has increased in the United States, crime
rates have decreased signiﬁcantly.
MYTH: Most immigrants are undocumented and have crossed the border illegally.
FACT: Two thirds of immigrants are here lawfully—either as naturalized citizens or in some other
lawful status. Moreover, almost half of all undocumented immigrants entered the United States
MYTH: Weak border enforcement has led to high rates of undocumented immigration. We
should increase enforcement and build a wall around our border.
FACT: Increased border security and the construction of border fences have done little to curb
the ﬂow of immigrants across the United States border. Instead, these policies have only
succeeded in pushing border crossers into dangerous and less-patrolled regions, and increased
the undocumented population by creating an incentive for immigrants not to leave.