5 Myths of Anti-Immigration Talk
Oppenheimer, Andres, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Let's debunk the biggest myths of the anti-immigration movement that has swept this country and may still have an impact on the 2008 presidential race: that it is not anti-Hispanic, that it doesn't oppose legal immigration and that it's against only "illegal" immigration.
Most U.S. Republican presidential hopefuls -- with the exception of Sen. John McCain -- and cable television anti-immigration crusaders on CNN and Fox News are deceiving the public with their claim that they are only against "illegal" immigration.
* Myth No. 1: "We are only against illegal immigration. Undocumented immigrants should get in line for visas." That's deceptive because you can't demand that people get into line when, for the most part, there is no line to get into.
While the U.S. labor market is demanding 1.5 million mostly low- skilled immigrants a year -- and will demand many more in coming years, as the U.S. population becomes increasingly educated -- the current immigration system allows into the U.S. an average of 1 million legal immigrants a year and most of them are already here.
"There is a huge mismatch between what the U.S. labor market needs and the supply of immigration visas," says Frank Sharry, head of the National Immigration Forum, which advocates both secure borders and a path to legal residence for many of the 12 million- plus undocumented immigrants in the United States.
On top of that, most anti-immigration groups want to reduce legal immigration. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a favorite of radio and cable television Hispanic immigrant-bashing news shows, wants to reduce legal immigration from the current 1 million a year to about 300,000, with a 20-year cooling-off period.
* Myth No. 2: "Anti-immigration advocates are not anti- Hispanic." Maybe many aren't but when was the last time you heard anti-immigration Republican hopefuls or cable television talk show hosts lashing out against illegal immigrants from Canada? …