Myths & Facts About Immigration in the U.S. | LIRS
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Myths & Facts About Immigration in the U.S.

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Equip yourself with the facts and urge Congress to implement practical and compassionate immigration reform today.

The “National Emergency”

MYTH: We are facing a national security crisis at the border.
FACT: There is no evidence of a national security crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Our southern border cities and towns are among the safest places to live and thrive in the U.S. According to U.S. News & World Report, EL Paso, Texas, ranks 105 among the Best Places to Live and 11 among the Best Places to Retire. In the same ranking, McAllen is 115 among the Best Places to Live and 28 among the Best Places to Retire.

Terrorists are streaming across our southern border.
FACT: According to CBP data provided to Congress in May 2018 and reported by NBC News, only six undocumented immigrants were stopped during entry across the U.S-Mexico border suspected of being terrorists.

BACKGROUND: LIRS partners on the ground are reporting that the vast majority of individuals coming through are family units – in particular, fathers with young children. The need for immediate humanitarian aid at the border is far more urgent than security measures to prevent terrorists from entering on foot through the desert.

Illegal immigrants are committing violent crimes and brutal murders at unprecedented rates in states bordering Mexico.
FACT: recent study showed that undocumented immigrants commit violent crimes at lower rates than U.S. citizens. According to a report by CATO Institute: “In 2016, 746 native-born Texans, 32 illegal immigrants, and 28 legal immigrants were convicted of homicide…The illegal immigrant conviction rate for homicide was 44 percent below that of native-born Americans in 2016 in Texas.”

There is a humanitarian crisis at the border that is putting American-born citizens at risk.
FACT: Yes there is a humanitarian crisis at the border, but it’s one that impacts migrant families and children — not Americans living near ports of entry as the President suggested. The humanitarian crisis we are facing right now at the border is due to conflicts driving families from their homes in Central America, the unprecedented backlog of asylum cases in the U.S., and the government’s inadequate care for children and families who have traveled miles and miles across the desert to plea for safety. These factors can and should be alleviated by the implementation of practical immigration reform.

The Wall

A wall is the most effective way to prevent illegal immigration.
FACT: There are a lot of reasons that a wall won’t work in preventing illegal immigration. Factors driving immigration from certain countries are desperate enough that a physical barrier is not a deterrent. Based on accounts from families LIRS has served, asylum seekers will do whatever it takes to survive. This includes scaling a wall or paying to be smuggled in a vehicle, another method of entry unaddressed by the wall.

MYTH: Funding the wall is the only way to end the government shutdown.
FACT: While Congress remains deeply divided on funding for border security, many of our elective officials are working actively on the Hill to push for a bipartisan solution that moves us towards practical and compassionate immigration reform.

BACKGROUND: There are some real concerns at the border — including the treatment of asylum seekers, recent deaths of young migrant children, and understaffed immigration courts — but a wall does not address any of them. Spending $5.7b on an ineffective, shortsighted approach to border security is simply unconscionable.

This is why it’s so important that you make your voice heard on this issue.



15 thoughts on “Myths & Facts About Immigration in the U.S.”

  1. With the reasons given, I resent having to spend over $5b for a wall to shun people asking for help for asylum. Other countries have destroyed their walls of separation. Even in bible times.

  2. I want to foster a child who had been separated from a parent at the border. I live in Alabama. Do you have any advice for me.

  3. Could you please help me to understand how the migrants will be able to SUCCESSFULLY apply for asylum. The rule says that an applicant for asylum must be in fear of discrimination because of his / her color, religion, politics, etc. Most migrants are afraid that their children will be killed or raped by gangs. As I see it, this does not fit into the rule, and 95% of them (my estimate) will have their application denied and will be deported.

    I would appreciate clarification. Thank you.

    • Hi Beth, your concerns are very valid. The current administration is seeking to narrow the criteria for asylum seekers, and we are working hard on Capitol Hill to prevent this from happening — and, whenever possible, opening the criteria to address a wider realm of issues that face the children and families we serve. You may find this article helpful in understanding a little bit more of the challenges that asylum seekers currently face.

  4. I’m down here at the border. It’s pretty much business as usual, just as it has been every time I’ve been down here. Southern Texas is a lovely place overall, with a lot of good people who are both illegal and legal residents. The area has never felt unsafe to me. The saddest thing is the possible closures the border wall will cause, such as the National Butterfly Center and possibly also Bentsen Rio Grande State Park. There will also be a huge impact on local businesses who are along where the border wall will cut off places like these parks. I see no good reason to extend the wall beyond what has already been built here. It’s a new world, with new technology. I’d love to see the President change his game to one of forward thinking, instead of always thinking the way “old” people think — and, by the way, I AM an old people, but I think we can do ever so much better.

  5. Our elected officials must work together to end this stalemate. They must compromise. The President must understand Mexico is not and never will pay for a wall which was a key selling point. The immigration issue is only an emergency as far as the health and welfare of those seeking security in our nation. The president was elected by as least as many voters as were the democrats in the house. The current situation at our southern border is a result of past (and present?) legislators not taking care of business many years, perhaps decades, ago. The good of the country, and possibly their seat in Congress, was not worth taking a chance on a ‘hot button issue’ by passing reasonable and righteous immigration legislation.
    Egos have to be sacrificed for the good of the country.

  6. I’m leading a trip to Honduras at the end of February to work with the Lutheran Church there. We have seen the problems that have been driving people to flee north, and we accompany Hondurans who are making a positive difference. Thank you for being such a compassionate presence at the border.

    • I am very interested in your leading a trip to Honduras. As co-chair of a ministry at St. Joan of Arc catholic church in Minneapolis, we too are discussing and educating about what is driving people to flee north and are contemplating a trip to Honduras. You give me hope.

  7. I’ve had members of our congregation ask the same thing Rich asked above just three days ago. What’s the best way to help with the urgent material needs at the border, especially where children and families are concerned? Should we collect material items? Or, better yet, how can we direct our dollars to this urgent need? Thanks for your help.


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