Immigration Myths or Reality

Are illegal immigrants the reason for the increasing crime rate in the United States? The answer is a resounding NO!

The fact that a great number of Americans seem to think illegal immigrants, or immigrants in general, are responsible for the rising crime rates is a pure myth. It has, in fact, been statistically proven that immigrants don’t affect the crime rate. We seem to be able to do that on our own without any outside help.

What do the statistics say? They indicate that violent crime has decreased roughly 34% and property crimes have decreased by about 26% during the same period of time when the illegal immigrant population increased to about 12 million people. This isn’t to say that immigrants don’t get involved in crime, but it does say that they are not the major source of increased crime rates. This is just a popular myth set into the American psyche and fanned into flames by the media.

The sad fact is that many political decisions happen to be based on myths like this one. For instance, the decision to erect a fence along the Texas/Mexico border, called the Secure Border Initiative, which is designed to keep illegal immigrants out. Unfortunately, it seems we don’t spend a lot of time looking at ourselves in the mirror and dealing with crime at home.

Speaking of myths, another one is that lower real estate values are caused by immigrants. You’ve no doubt heard expressions like, “There goes the neighborhood,” when referring to new foreign neighbors. The truth of the matter is that ups and downs in real estate value are normal, traditional and cyclical and are not tied to any group of people. What happened is interest rates were low (some say too low), bank lending got sloppy and people went hog-wild buying houses. This boom market peaked in 2006 and has been declining ever since.

Isn’t it time we took a good look at some of these prevalent myths and saw them for what they really are – just myths based on emotional responses to things people don’t know, don’t understand or don’t like. In reality, immigrants have nothing to do with higher crime, lower property values or an increased rate of disease in the U.S., nor do they take jobs that should go to U.S. workers. The fact is, that many U.S. workers are too lazy to take the jobs they are offered. It’s time we regarded immigrants as the valued citizens they really are and we should welcome them, not try to keep them out with fences.

Sally Odell – Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, PA is an immigration lawyer in Miami with immigration law offices in Orlando and Miami Florida. To learn more about immigration lawyer in miami, immigration lawyer in orlando, immigration lawyer in florida, visit