Aviva Chomsky is a history professor and coordinator of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies at Salem State College in Massachusetts. Her 2007 book "They Take Our Jobs!" And Twenty Other Myths about Immigration provides a careful analysis of the overheated rhetoric around immigration policy in the United States, debunking the 21 biggest myths and stereotypes in today's debate.
Here are 8 of the 21:
MYTH #1 "Immigrants take our jobs"
MYTH #2 "Immigrants Don't Pay Taxes"
MYTH #3 "Immigrants are freeloaders who drain federal and state coffers"
MYTH #4 "Enforcement and Border Security will Solve the Problem"
MYTH #5 "Immigrants Don't Want to Learn English or Become Americans"
MYTH #6 "Immigrants are Uneducated, Low-Skilled and Building a Permanent Underclass"
MYTH #7 "There are more Immigrants Today than Ever Before in U.S. History"
MYTH #8 "Many Immigrants are Criminals"
¹ Richard Vedder, Lowell Gallaway, and Stephen Moore. Immigration and Unemployment: New Evidence. Alexis de Tocqueville Institution.
² Giovanni Peri, PhD. "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages," October, 2006.http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/gperi/reports/infocus_10306.pdf
³ U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition," http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/print.pl/oco/oco2003.htm
4 Principles for an Immigration Policy to Strengthen and Expand the Middle Class. Drum Major Institute. 2007. http://www.drummajorinstitute.org/library/35.html
5 Congressional Budget Office, "Cost Estimate of S.1348, Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007," June, 2007 http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/81xx/doc8179/SA1150_June4.pdf
6 Undocumented Immigrants in Texas: A Financial Analysis of the Impact to the State Budget and Economy. Texas State Comptroller, December 2006.
7 Massey, Douglas. Backfire at the Border (pdf): Why Enforcement Without Legislation Cannot Stop Illegal Immigration. Center for Trade Policy Studies. June, 2005. http://www.freetrade.org/pubs/pas/tpa-029.pdf
8 Passel, Jeffrey. The Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Population in the U.S (pdf). Pew Hispanic Center. March, 2006. http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/61.pdf
9 Department of Homeland Security, "Budget for Fiscal year 2009." http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/budget_bib-fy2009.pdf
10 Goyle, Rajeev and David Jaeger. Deporting the Undocumented: a Cost Assessment (pdf). Center for American Progress. July, 2005. http://www.americanprogress.org/kf/deporting_the_undocumented.pdf
11 Congressional Budget Office. "Estimate of the Budgetary Effect of H.R. 4088, the Secure America through Verification and Reform Act of 2007," November, 2007.http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/91xx/doc9100/hr4088ltr.pdf
12 Vigdor, Jacob. Measuring Immigrant Assimilation in the Unites States. The Manhattan Institute. May, 2008. http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_53.htm
13 Hispanic Attitudes Towards Learning English (pdf). Pew Hispanic Center. June, 2006. http://pewhispanic.org/files/factsheets/20.pdf
14 David L. Bartlett, "U.S. Immigration Policy in Global Perspective: International Migration in OECD Countries" (special report, Immigration Policy Center, Winter 2007)
15 Immigration Policy Center. "The Economics of Immigration Reform: What Legalization Would Means for the U.S. Economy," April, 2009. http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/images/File/factcheck//EconomicsofCIRFullDoc.pdf
16 Bartlett, Ibid.
17 Crime, Corrections, and California: What Does Immigration Have to Do with It, a report released in late February, 2008 by the Public Policy Institute of California
18 Nadler, Richard. "Immigration and the Wealth of States," America's Majority Foundation, January, 2008. http://www.amermaj.com/ImmigrationandWealth.pdf