Weekly Diaspora:  Busting Immigration Myths

Erin Rosa, Media Consortium blogger

By Erin Rosa, Media Consortium blogger According to a recent study described by New America Media, passing comprehensive immigration reform and providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants wouldn't negatively impact the job market for those who are already citizens. This is one of many myths promoted by anti-immigration groups that have recently been busted wide open. In an interview with Public Policy Institute of California research fellow Laura Hill, New America Media editor Sandip Roy notes, “People say in the current economy with 10 percent unemployment we cannot afford immigration reforms because native born Americans would lose out on jobs. Is that borne out by your study? ” The answer is no, the study shows. “It won’t cause competitive hardship for native born workers because there is not suddenly mobility among the people being legalized,” Hill tells New America Media. “So this is not a sudden new adverse competition for those already in the workforce.” Immigrant entrepreneurship Bruce Corrie via American Forum looks at falsehoods relating to the “costs and burdens of immigrants,” and finds that immigrants have actually helped revitalized Minnesota. “One just has to visit certain commercial corridors in the Twin Cities to see how immigrant entrepreneurs have vitalized run-down neighborhoods by providing services and jobs, and serving as role models in their communities,” writes Corrie, who notes that immigrant consumers have also helped simulate the state economy. “Analysis of census data for Minnesota shows that the buying power of Asian, Latino and African immigrants is around $5 billion. ” At AlterNet, Seth Hoy reports that immigration reform could help turn America's lagging innovation and competition rankings around. “As leading economists and immigration experts continue to point out,” Hoy writes. “Reforming our entire immigration system—reform which includes a legalization program for unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. as well as revised high- and low-skilled visa caps—is paramount to reviving our economy, re-investing in innovation and technology and giving American back its competitive edge.” More enforcement abuses For Inter Press Service, William Fisher reports that according to a recent audit by the Department of Homeland Security, “A controversial government programme that enlists local police officers and sheriff's deputies to help enforce U.S. immigration laws is verging on being out of control and unable to assess whether it is meeting its stated goals.” In an interview, Brittney Nystrom with the advocacy group National Immigration Forum tells IPS, “given the well-documented abuses committed by some local enforcement agencies enrolled in this programme, the lack of concern with the civil rights record of enrolled agencies is astounding." The Washington Independent's Julissa Treviño writes more on the audit findings of the program known as “287(g)” in law enforcement circles. “Among its observations, the [Office of Inspector General ] found that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Local Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) had not met all of the requirements of the program, such as meeting regularly with steering committees to review the program’s assessment and adequately training its officers.” For more links on immigration check out: With Immigration Low On List Of Tea Party Priorities, Is Nativism Really On the Rise? - AlterNet Minority census participation lags despite outreach campaign - Iowa Independent This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about immigration by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Diaspora for a complete list of articles on immigration issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, and health care issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Pulse . This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

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