In a time when anti-immigrant rhetoric is far too easy to find, knowing the reality of immigration in the United States is important. That’s why LIRS revamped our Immigration Mythbuster earlier this year, to equip our advocates to speak the truth about immigration when the need arises.
One troubling example of the need for facts came last month when the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX-21) commissioned a report of immigration data from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS). The data in the resulting report demonstrates that immigrants are significantly less likely to commit crimes than native-born U.S. citizens while encouraging cautious use of its statistics due to data limitations.
However, when releasing the report to the public, Rep. Smith added his own misleading introduction, distorting the statistics to vilify immigrants in our communities. In one portion of his analysis, Rep. Smith sounds alarm over the 17% recidivism rate for immigrants who have committed crimes, without acknowledging this rate is significantly lower than the national rate of 40%.
Misinformation of this sort weakens our communities and furthers distrust among neighbors. To join the movement speaking out with the truth about immigration, read and share LIRS’s Immigration Mythbuster. It’s time that conversations about immigration move back to being based in reality and welcome.