Throughout U.S. history, decent, hard-working immigrants (like me) have contributed to the economy and our nation's security...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/8/2024, 9:35am PT  

The June 27 Presidential Debate provided but the latest display of Donald Trump's dangerous xenophobic propaganda, even as it was overshadowed by a Dem Party/Media freakout over other matters.

The presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, a convicted felon, falsely claimed that President Joe Biden "is letting millions of people from jails, from prisons, from insane asylums, from mental institutions; drug dealers pour in." He claimed that the U.S. was being inundated by "migrant crime".

It's a racist refrain that dates back to his initial Presidential campaign, when, in 2016, on multiple occasions, Trump described Mexican immigrants as "drug dealers, criminals [and] rapists". (Psychologists might well describe the "rapist" allegation as "projection" given that a civil trial jury, according to Judge Lewis Kaplan, found that Trump "raped" E. Jean Carroll in 1996.)

More troubling, Trump has emulated the racist, dehumanizing rhetoric of Adolf Hitler. He's referred to immigrants as "animals" and "vermin" who are "poisoning our blood". While in office, Trump referred to an influx of asylum seekers as an "invasion".

Like "Stop the Steal", MAGA Cult immigrant-bashing is a "Big Lie", one that not only ignores hard data that demolishes the existence of a "migrant crime" wave but also ignores the significant contributions immigrants have made and continue to make towards the safety, security and economic well-being of these United States...

The 'immigrant crime-wave' myth

A lengthy analysis [PDF] published by the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, citing studies performed over a span of 20 years, finds that immigrants commit far fewer crimes than US-born citizens.

This accords with a 2020 Texas Dept. of Public Transportation study, which, according to a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Abstract, found that:

Relative to undocumented immigrants, U.S.-born citizens are over 2 times more likely to be arrested for violent crimes, 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes, and over 4 times more likely to be arrested for property crimes.

Trump's repetition of his non-citizen voter fraud canard has also been repeatedly debunked. Cases of noncitizen voting, which amounts to a felony punishable by both time in prison and deportation, are nearly as scarce as hens' teeth.

Immigrant contributions

Although there are down sides, immigration also provides a significant beneficial impact upon the U.S. economy, CNN reported earlier this year. Citing a 2023 Report [PDF] by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), CNN noted that immigrants will add $7 trillion to the US economy over the next decade under our current immigration policies. "The federal government", the network noted as per the CBO report, "will benefit from" the projected influx of immigrants, which "will lift tax revenue collections by $1 trillion."

In debunking Trump's debate claim that undocumented immigrants were destroying Social Security, The New York Times noted that, when employed, undocumented immigrants pay Social Security taxes. However, they're "prohibited from receiving many of the benefits that the federal government provides through Social Security." In other words, they pay far more into the system than they take out.

While many immigrants move into unskilled labor, "five (5) of the 13 US Nobel Prize winners in 2021 were foreign born."

And then there are the contributions immigrants have made to our national security. As observed by

Immigrants have served in the United States Armed Forces since the founding of our country, fighting in every major conflict in American history. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants pledged to defend the United States with their lives in the Civil War, both World Wars, and conflicts like those in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

While immigrants, who include naturalized citizens, lawful non-citizens and the undocumented account for only 13.1% of the U.S. population, foreign born citizens and non-citizens account for "more than 20% of the recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor", according to Forbes.

The author of this article is a first generation American. My British father, who was tortured by the Kempetai, and my mother, a Ukrainian born Jew, met in a Japanese internment camp in Shanghai, China during World War II. My since deceased older brother and I were born in Shanghai and emigrated to the US in 1949.

My younger brother instantly became a citizen at the moment of his birth in 1952 in Burbank, CA. I had to wait until 1956 to become a naturalized citizen, as did my parents and older brother. I later served in the 4th Infantry in Vietnam (Central Highlands, 1968).

To hear the draft-dodging Cadet Bone Spurs refer to combat veterans, both US and foreign born, as "suckers" and "losers", is deeply offensive, as is his reference to immigrants as "vermin" who are "poisoning our blood."

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Ernest A. Canning is a retired attorney, author, and Vietnam Veteran (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968). He previously served as a Senior Advisor to Veterans For Bernie. Canning has been a member of the California state bar since 1977. In addition to a juris doctor, he has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science. Follow him on Twitter: @cann4ing

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