A new report from the Pew Research Center has exposed the falsehoods perpetuated by the Republican Party regarding immigration in the United States. Contrary to their claims, the report reveals that the unauthorized immigrant population has been steadily decreasing since 2007, during the presidency of George W. Bush.
The number of unauthorized immigrants in the country stood at 10.5 million in 2021, which marks a 14% decrease from 2007.
Despite these facts, Republicans continue to spread misinformation about an “invasion” at our borders and advocate for mass deportations. They falsely label the U.S.-Mexico border as “open,” further fueling fear and xenophobia.
This divisive rhetoric has transformed the United States into a nation obsessed with immigration enforcement, instead of embracing its historical identity as a nation of immigrants.
Pew’s report also highlights that lawful immigration has been on the rise. The number of lawful immigrants has increased by 29%, and naturalized U.S. citizens have grown by 49%. Out of the 47 million foreign-born individuals living in the U.S., nearly half are naturalized citizens. These statistics showcase that the changing demographics of the country are driven by legal channels, not illegal border crossings.
Furthermore, the report challenges misconceptions about the origins of unauthorized immigrants. While Mexico and El Salvador top the list, India is the country of origin with the third-largest population of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. This data disproves the notion that unauthorized immigration is solely driven by individuals from specific countries.
The Republican Party’s fearmongering and exaggeration of unauthorized immigrants as a national security threat distort the reality. However, many Americans hold favorable views on immigration. A recent Gallup poll revealed that 68% of Americans believe immigration is beneficial to the country.
Additionally, a majority either support maintaining or increasing immigration levels, while only 41% advocate for a decrease.
While the Republican Party continues to push extreme views and falsehoods, there is public support for immigration reform. Polls show that a majority of likely voters and Latino voters favor programs like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Temporary Protected Status (TPS). These polls indicate that there is an opportunity for Democrats to reshape the conversation on immigration.
It is crucial to remember that the approximately 10.5 million undocumented individuals in the United States are not anonymous statistics. They are human beings who contribute to the fabric of American society. It is time to reject the GOP’s distortion of statistical reality and recognize the importance of comprehensive immigration reform.