qian34_PEDRO PARDOAFP via Getty Images_immigration PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

The Truth About US Immigration

It is possible both to maximize the benefits of immigration while still maintaining border security and supporting workers in sectors that immigrants may enter. If US politicians are serious about serving the American people’s interests, they will abandon the overheated rhetoric and start doing their jobs.

CHICAGO – It is becoming increasingly apparent that immigration will be a major issue for voters in this year’s US presidential election. Since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, more than 6.2 million people who did not have permission to enter the United States have attempted to cross the border from Mexico, and more than two million have been allowed to remain while they await an immigration hearing.

This marked increase from previous years has become a major source of controversy. While Biden’s critics claimdubiously – that immigrants are driving up crime rates and taking Americans’ jobs, some Democrats are doubling down on calls to decriminalize illegal border crossings altogether. The first group accuses the second of undermining national security, while advocates of decriminalization accuse immigration hardliners of racism and xenophobia. With Americans arguably more divided than at any time since the Civil War, US politicians are peddling simplistic rhetoric about an immensely complex issue to stoke fear and anger, deepening the country’s political polarization.

But there is good news for the American people: The truth about immigration is far less frightening than what some politicians and media figures want you to believe. For starters, immigrants are much less likely to commit crime than US citizens. Nationwide, illegal immigrants tend to be incarcerated at a much lower rate than native-born Americans. In Texas, for example, illegal immigrants, in 2018, were 45% less likely to be convicted of a crime than native-born Americans. And the crime and incarceration rates for legal immigrants are even lower.