Myth: Americans believe immigrants make up 33% of the population.
Fact: Immigrants as a whole make up only 13% of our population, and undocumented immigrants make up only 3%.
Every American has heard time and again that we are a nation of immigrants, but hard economic times tend to inflame nativist sentiment. Many of us believe that immigrants are overrunning our population and ruining our economy by stealing jobs and unfairly drawing welfare benefits. It’s a common belief that immigrants, particularly undocumented immigrants, are prone to criminal behavior, refuse to assimilate, and mostly come to the US to commit crimes and collect welfare.
But the facts tell a different story. For example, undocumented immigrants are 5% of the workforce, and many pay into our Social Security and Medicare systems, from which they will never draw benefits.
As a nation of immigrants, our strength comes from our diversity.
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