Fivethirtyeight.com rounds up a bunch of stats that don’t fit neatly with the anti-immigrant messaging perfected over the last couple of decades by Republican politicians. For example:
* There are fewer undocumented immigrants in the U.S. today than in 2007.
* Most new immigrants aren’t Latinos.
* Because of changes in birth rate, better opportunities at home and the recession in the U.S., net migration from Mexico is zero, maybe even a negative.
* Asia provides more immigrants than Latin America, particularly China and India. (Building a wall on the Pacific Ocean is going to be mighty expensive.)
* Speaking of border security: Illegal immigration (as opposed to people in the country without authorization) has dropped to near zero.
* Arkansas has had the fifth-highest percentage increase among the states in foreign-born population. They are working people and families. See chart above for more on immigrant impact in the state, from a May report.
These are facts, which don’t stand a chance against blind faith. 538 observes:
The disconnect between perception and reality on immigration may be particularly stark right now, but it’s hardly unprecedented.
“Throughout the entire history of immigration, there was much more diversity within the flows in terms of origins, skills and other kinds of characteristics than you would think just by listening to the debates,” said Jeanne Batalova, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute. “It’s fascinating how the history repeats itself nearly with the same language, which makes you both hopeful and disillusioned.”