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Just the Facts

Immigration Fact Checks provide up-to-date information on the most current issues involving immigration today.

IPC Responds to FAIR Report

This week, Fox News is reporting on data provided to them by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) which amounts to a highly misleading fiscal snapshot of the costs allegedly imposed on U.S. taxpayers by unauthorized immigrants.  However, in its rush to portray unauthorized immigrants as nothing more than a drain on the public treasury, FAIR completely discounts the economic contributions of unauthorized workers and consumers.  Moreover, FAIR inflates their cost estimate by indiscriminately lumping together native-born, U.S.-citizen children with their unauthorized parents.

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Published On: Thu, Jul 08, 2010 | Download File

Immigrant Women in the United States: A Portrait of Demographic Diversity

The 18.9 million immigrant women and girls in the United States in 2008 present a portrait of demographic diversity on many fronts.  An analysis of Census Bureau data reveals that immigrant women are not easily categorized or stereotyped—and that many common myths about immigrants are shattered when we look carefully at the demographic diversity of these women.

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Published On: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 | Download File

New FBI Data Confirms Falling Crime Rates in Arizona

Violent Crimes Are Down in the State’s Three Largest Cities

Many supporters of Arizona’s harsh new anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, continue to insist that the law is, in part, a crime-fighting measure.  However, the latest crime statistics released by the FBI confirm what previous data had already indicated: that Arizona is in the midst of a years-long decline in violent crime that pre-dates SB 1070, despite the growing number of unauthorized immigrants in the state during those same years.  Specifically, preliminary data released by the FBI on May 24, when compared to data from previous years, reveals that the numbers of violent crimes as a whole, and murders in particular, have been trending downwards for years in Arizona’s three largest cities: Phoenix, Tucson, and Mesa.  Arizona’s falling crime rates, together with a century’s worth of evidence indicating that immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes than the native-born, cast serious doubt on the claims of some SB 1070 supporters that the law is in any way a useful crime-fighting tool.

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Published On: Thu, Jun 17, 2010 | Download File

Ending Birthright Citizenship Would Not Stop Illegal Immigration

Ending Birthright Citizenship Would Be Unconstitutional, Impractical, Expensive, Complicated and Would Not Stop Illegal Immigration

Anti-immigrant groups and legislators have persisted in their attempts to restrict or repeal birthright citizenship in State Houses and the U.S. Congress. Several bills have been introduced that would deny U.S. citizenship to children whose parents are in the U.S. illegally or on temporary visas.  The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution - the cornerstone of American civil rights - affirms that, with very few exceptions, all persons born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens, regardless of the immigration status of their parents. Following the Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves, the Fourteenth Amendment restated the longstanding principle of birthright citizenship, which had been temporarily erased by the Supreme Court's "Dred Scott" decision which denied birthright citizenship to the U.S.-born children of slaves. The Supreme Court has consistently upheld birthright citizenship over the years. The following fact sheet is adapted from the Immigration Policy Center’s Made in America: Myths and Facts About Birthright Citizenship

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Published On: Tue, Jun 15, 2010 | Download File

Not In Competition: Immigrants and Native-Born Workers

High levels of unemployment have led some to propagate the myth that every immigrant added to the U.S. labor force amounts to a job lost by a native-born worker, or that every job loss for a native-born worker is evidence that there is need for one less immigrant worker. In fact, this has been the rationale behind any number of harsh legislative proposals targeting immigrants. These kinds of proposals may be appealing politically, but they reflect dangerously simplistic assumptions about labor-force dynamics. Moreover, such proposals distract from the far more important goal of creating economic policies that generate growth and create jobs for workers across the U.S. labor market. As data from the 2009 Current Population Survey illustrates, most immigrant and native-born workers are not competing with each other in today’s tight job markets.

Published On: Thu, Jun 10, 2010 | Download File

Throwing Good Money After Bad: Immigration Enforcement

Immigration Enforcement without Immigration Reform Doesn’t Work

This week, the Senate will consider amendments to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill that would add thousands of additional personnel along the border (including the National Guard), as well as provide millions of dollars for detention beds, technology, and resources.  Yesterday, bowing to pressure, President Obama announced that he would send 1,200 National Guard troops to the border and request $500 million for additional resources.  All of this attention on resources for the border ignores the fact that border enforcement alone is not going to resolve the underlying problems with our broken immigration system.

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Published On: Wed, May 26, 2010 | Download File

Arizona's SB 1070: A Resource Page

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Published On: Tue, May 11, 2010

Arizona is Not the First State to Take Immigration Matters into their Own Hands

UPDATED 05/26/10 - Arizona’s controversial new immigration law (SB 1070) is the latest in a long line of efforts to regulate immigration at the state level. While the Grand Canyon State’s foray into immigration law is one of the most extreme and punitive, other states have also attempted to enforce federal law through state-specific measures and sanctions. Oklahoma and Georgia have passed measures, with mixed constitutional results, aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration through state enforcement. Legislators in 45 states introduced 1,180 bills and resolutions[i] in the first quarter of 2010 alone, compared to 570 in all of 2006. Not all state legislation relating to immigration is punitive—much of it falls within traditional state jurisdiction, such as legislation that attempts to improve high school graduation rates among immigrants or funds. The leap into federal enforcement, however, represents a disturbing trend fueled by the lack of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. 

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Published On: Thu, May 06, 2010 | Download File

Real Enforcement with Practical Answers for Immigration Reform (REPAIR) Proposal Summary

On April 29, 2010, Democratic Senators Schumer, Reid, Menendez, Feinstein, and Leahy unveiled a proposed outline for a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  The “conceptual framework” offers a broad platform for re-inventing our immigration system and attempts to find a middle ground that may appeal to more conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans.  Consequently, details are noticeably lacking in many areas of the proposal.  Nonetheless, the underlying concept reflects a more comprehensive approach to immigration reform which attempts to balance traditional enforcement priorities with the creation of legal means for entering and working in the United States.  Read more...

Published On: Mon, May 03, 2010 | Download File

Arizona’s Punishment Doesn’t Fit the Crime: Studies Show Decrease in Arizona Crime Rates

Updated 06/22/10

Supporters of Arizona’s harsh new immigration law claim that it is, in part, a crime-fighting measure.  For instance, the bill’s author, Republican State Senator Russell Pearce of Mesa, confidently predicts that the law—which requires police to investigate the immigration status of anyone who appears to be unauthorized—will result in “less crime” and “safer neighborhoods.”  However, Sen. Pearce overlooks two salient points: crime rates have already been falling in Arizona for years despite the presence of unauthorized immigrants, and a century’s worth of research has demonstrated that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native-born.  While much has been made about kidnappings in Arizona, law-enforcement officials indicate that most of these involve drug smugglers and human smugglers, as well as smuggled immigrants themselves—not the general population of the state.  Combating crime related to human smuggling requires more trust between immigrants and the police, not less.  Yet the undermining of trust between police and the community is precisely what Arizona’s new law accomplishes.  In the final analysis, immigration policy is not an effective means of addressing crime because the vast majority of immigrants are not criminals.

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Published On: Wed, Apr 28, 2010 | Download File