Yesterday, I was asked what are the common misconceptions about immigration. I took a moment to think deeply and the top two for me were these:
- Immigrants are taking American jobs
- Illegal immigrants could obtain legal status if they just wanted to (i.e. legal immigration is easy)
Immigrants are not taking American jobs. They are taking jobs that Americans are not qualified to do or do not want to do. There is clearly a shortage in certain professions that is being filled by immigrants. Restricting access will not make Americans decide to all of a sudden pursue a career in Computer Science or Neurosurgery.
Immigrating legally into the United States is not easy. I know enough about the process to say that it takes a very specific type of person to be able to accomplish this. You either need to have a lot of money at your disposal (acquired by legitimate means) or you need to be highly educated and/or successful in your field. The chances of a working age individual with little to no education and limited funds immigrating legally into the United States are slim, unless it’s through a family petition.
I know there are arguments on both sides. I would never advocate illegal immigration. I just know what I have encountered in my profession as a business immigration attorney, which are certainly more cases than the average person.