Many people feel that immigration is a problem in the United States. They think that immigrants are taking American jobs, overburdening the healthcare system and committing crimes. However, these claims are largely based on myths and stereotypes.
Immigration has brought diversity to the Virgin Islands. There are people from all over the world who have made the Virgin Islands their home, and this has helped to create a truly unique culture. The diversity of the population has also been a major contributor to the economy of the Virgin Islands, as it has helped to attract tourist and investment dollars.
Here are six of the most common immigration myths:
Myth 1: Immigrants are taking American jobs
The reality is that immigrants are actually helping to create jobs in the United States. A study by the Partnership for a New American Economy found that immigrants have started 28 percent of all new businesses in the United States in the last two decades. These businesses employ millions of Americans.
Myth 2: Immigrants are a burden on the healthcare system
In reality, immigrants are actually less likely to use public healthcare than native-born Americans. This is because most immigrants are of working age and have private health insurance through their employer. In fact, a study by the Urban Institute found that immigrants contributed $115 billion more to the Medicare system than they took out in benefits over a 10-year period.
Myth 3: Immigrants are criminals
Fact is that immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans. A study by the Cato Institute found that immigrants are half as likely as native-born Americans to be incarcerated.
Myth 4: Immigrants are a drain on the economy
Truth is that immigrants actually contribute to the economy. A study by the Partnership for a New American Economy found that immigrants contribute more than $2 trillion to the U.S. economy every year.
Myth 5: Immigrants don’t pay taxes
Immigrants are actually paying billions of dollars in taxes every year. In fact, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that immigrants contribute $13 billion more in taxes than they receive in benefits.
Myth 6: Immigrants are taking advantage of welfare programs
The reality is that most immigrants are not eligible for welfare programs. In fact, a study by the Migration Policy Institute found that only 5 percent of immigrants use welfare programs.
Contrary to popular belief, different sectors of the economy are being positively impacted by immigration. In agriculture, for example, immigrants make up a large percentage of the workforce. They are often willing to do the hard and physically demanding work that most Americans are not interested in doing. This helps to keep food prices down for all Americans.
In the healthcare sector, immigrants are playing an important role as caregivers. They often work in nursing homes and hospitals, providing care for the elderly and the sick. This helps to free up American workers to pursue other careers.
Immigrants also contribute to increase productivity and economic growth. A study by the Partnership for a New American Economy found that immigrants have contributed to more than one-quarter of all economic growth in the United States over the last two decades.
The economy of the Virgin Islands, specifically, has been impacted by immigration in a number of ways. One of the most significant ways is through the importation of labor. Immigrants have helped to fill a number of jobs in the Virgin Islands.
The influx of immigrants has also contributed to the growth of the Virgin Islands. The current population of the United States Virgin Islands is 104,110 as of July 2022. The growth in population has led to an increase in demand for goods and services, which has had a positive impact on the economy.
And, as an increasing number of Americans retire in the coming years, immigrants will help fill labor demand and maintain the social safety net.
Our country’s success, in part, derives from our long-standing policy of enticing individuals aspiring for a better life to come join us. So, immigration is not only good for the economy, but it is also necessary for the future growth of the United States.
Now is time for all of us to dispel the myths and embrace the reality of immigration in America.
Immigration makes for a better nation.
Melany LaGrone Esq.
Editor’s note: Melany LaGrone Esq. is an immigration attorney on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.