11 Myths About Undocumented Immigrants Debunked
Unfortunately, there are quite a few myths regarding illegal immigration and populist politicians like former President Donald Trump and Texas Governor Greg Abbott like to frame the issue as a "crisis" or "invasion". The fact that there are people living illegally in America is something that needs to be addressed, but it's not a crisis that requires draconian measures. In fact, the total number of illegal immigrants living in America peaked more than a decade ago and then began a slow decline during the Obama administration. There has been an uptick in recent years, but the total remains below the peak reached in 2007.
Moreover, the vast majority of undocumented immigrants who remain in the United States are productive members of society, raising families, working in industries that have long depended on immigrant labor. In fact, about two-thirds [66%] have lived and worked in America for more than a decade, half for more than 15 years. They aren't a problem to be dealt with; they are our neighbors and friends and an essential element of the labor force. They roof our houses, pick our fruit, milk our dairy cows, and care for our elderly. In most cases, their presence doesn't represent a crisis; it's a godsend.
The negative sentiment often directed toward undocumented workers is based on a witches brew of conspiracy theories, xenophobia, and political opportunism.
A brief history of US Immigration Policy: The first step in addressing any public policy issue is to get your arms around it by understanding the magnitude of the problem and dispelling myths by looking at the best possible research on the subject. That's what we will do here starting first with some history.
Our history as a nation is a story of immigration. Europeans migrated here during the Colonial era to escape religious intolerance and for expanded economic opportunities. Our Immigration and citizenship laws have always been controversial, political, and more than a little bit racist. In 1790 Congress passed the Naturalization Act which allowed any "free white person, being of good character", and living in the United States for two years, to apply for citizenship. This meant that indigenous peoples, free African Americans, and slaves were excluded from citizenship, but, our borders were wide open to Europeans who came by the millions throughout the 19th and early 20th century.
At first, most came from Northern and Western Europe, and between 1815 and 1865 one-third came from Ireland which experienced a famine in 1845. Between 1820 and 1930, almost 5 million Irish migrated to the United States, many settling in cities along the east coast. In the 19th century, the United States also welcomed about 5 million German immigrants. Many of them settled in the cities of the Midwest.
During the mid-1800s America also began to draw Asian immigrants, first lured by the gold rush in California and then to help build our railroads. This influx led to America's first significant piece of immigration legislation, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which banned Chinese immigrants. But, anti-immigrant sentiment extended beyond Asians among some of America's predominantly Anglo-Saxon Protestant population. Immigrants were resented as unwanted competition for jobs, and because of their religious beliefs [especially Irish Catholics]. In the 1850s, the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, Native American Party, more commonly referred to as the "Know-Nothings" tried to curb immigration. The Know Nothings believed Catholics wanted to undermine religious liberty in the United States and they drew support from native-born Protestants in the defense of America's "traditional religious values". They faded as a political force by the end of the 1850s, but their anti-immigrant, nativist sentiment has remained a part of our political culture. As historian Elliott J. Gorn wrote about the era, “appeals to ethnic hatreds allowed men whose livelihoods depended on winning elections to sidestep the more complex and politically dangerous divisions of class."
As America industrialized between 1880 and 1920, a new wave of almost 20 million immigrants was drawn to the United States seeking jobs in America's growing economy. American business interests supported an open immigration policy during this period to supply the labor necessary for the nation's industrial expansion. Many of the new arrivals came from Eastern and Southern Europe including more than 4 million Italians.
However, in the early 1920s the door to America began to close when Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1924 which created a quota system that restricted entry to 2 percent of the total number of people of each nationality in America as of the 1890 national census. The system was meant to favor immigrants from Western and Northern Europe and limit those from Southern and Eastern Europe. The act also excluded all immigrants from Asia.
In 1965, Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act, which did away with the quota system based on nationality and created a priority system giving preference to relatives of persons already in the United States and to individuals with special skills [people with advanced degrees, for instance]. But, Congress also placed an annual cap of 290,000 on total immigration which reflected worries about competition for jobs.
Picture: President Lyndon B. Johnson gives his remarks before the signing of the new Immigration Act in 1965 at Liberty Island
In the 1980s, Americans began to worry about the number of students and tourists who overstayed their visas and Mexican laborers who crossed the border to work on farms, ranches, and factories in the Southwest. In 1978 the Congressional Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy estimated that there were between 3 and 6 million undocumented immigrants living in the country. The Simpson–Mazzoli Act of 1986 was enacted to regain control of the situation by hiring more border patrol officers and by fining the employers of undocumented workers. The Act also legalized immigrants who had lived here for 5 years, paid a fine and back taxes, proved that they were not guilty of crimes, and spoke English. About 3 million received amnesty via the law.
However, undocumented workers continued to cross the border to meet the demand for their services, especially after NAFTA made it possible for cheap U.S. corn to flood Mexico and forced that nation's small farmers to find employment elsewhere. To make matters worse, the border control elements of Simpson–Mazzoli were funded very slowly by Congress and employers found it easy to circumvent the fines for hiring foreign workers. As a result, the number of illegal immigrants peaked at about 12.2 million in 2007 but decreased during our 2008-09 recession as the economy slowed and border enforcement increased, and has leveled off at between 10.5 million and 11.5 million.
Moreover, the number of undocumented immigrants from Mexico has steadily declined since 2007 and makes up less than half of illegals today. While Mexicans have been returning home, there has been an uptick among those coming from Asia and also Central America, especially Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, as violence in those nations has increased.
Myth #1: Illegal Immigrants are taking jobs that American workers would gladly perform.
Reality: The vast majority of illegals come to America to work, and they work hard. The old myths about "lazy Mexicans" have been banished and we now realize that they find employment because they work hard for less money and take jobs that Americans no longer want to do.
Illuminate: "About 8 million of them have jobs making up almost 5% of our overall workforce, up to 9 or 10% in states like Texas, California and Nevada. Moreover, they constitute more than 50% of US farm-workers, 24% of maids and cleaners, and 15% of our construction workforce. In other words, they are filling positions in some of America's most physically demanding and unglamorous occupations.
And the American economy needs immigrant labor.
Bloomburg Business: "In a study published in 2013, economist Michael Clemens analyzed 15 years of data on North Carolina’s farm-labor market and concluded, “There is virtually no supply of native manual farm laborers” in the state. This was true even in the depths of a severe recession."
"In 2011, with 6,500 available farm jobs in the state, only 268 of the nearly 500,000 unemployed North Carolinians applied for these jobs. More than 90 percent (245 people) of those applying were hired, but just 163 showed up for the first day of work. Only seven native workers completed the entire growing season, filling only one-tenth of 1 percent of the open farm jobs."
The Houston Chronicle documented the construction industry's dependence on undocumented immigrants and the worker shortage that has developed as immigration has declined.
Houston Chronicle: "A prolonged shortage of construction workers has the Associated General Contractors of America calling for immigration reform."
“We recognize it’s important to have safe borders,” said Kenneth D. Simonson, the group’s chief economist. “But it’s also really important for the growth of the U.S. economy to make sure that we have a large enough workforce.”
And dairy farming in America can't survive today without the labor of undocumented immigrants.
The Oklahoman: "In dairy barns across Wisconsin, farmers and workers said there is a simple truth: Without the work of Latino immigrants – many, if not most, of them undocumented – the signature industry in America’s Dairyland would collapse."
And conservatives in state government who claim to support tough measures to decrease illegal immigration have done little to reduce the hiring of undocumented workers in their states.
Bloomberg Business: "In 2011 states across the Southeast passed laws that threatened private employers with dire consequences—including losing their license to do business—if they didn’t enroll with a federal data service called E-Verify to check the legal status of new hires."...
"Seven years later, those laws appear to have been more political bark than bite. None of the Southern states that extended E-Verify to the private sector have canceled a single business license, and only one, Tennessee, has assessed any fines. Most businesses caught violating the laws have gotten a pass."
Politico: "Businesses have every reason to avoid E-Verify. So far, no executives have been charged by the federal government for illegally employing workers. States rarely enforce E-Verify mandates against businesses – which brings us to the third group that doesn’t want E-Verify to work: politicians."
"E-Verify allows politicians to have it both ways: Supporting it makes them look tough on illegal immigration while the fact that it’s so easy to evade means their local businesses and economies are largely unaffected."
Anti-immigrant activists wonder how it's possible for so many illegals to get jobs, but it's not a mystery; businesses are going to hire the laborers they need to survive. And politicians, even those that rail against undocumented workers in public, understand that our economy can't function without them.
Myth #2: Terrorist groups exploit our border with Mexico.
Reality: Every few months on Fox News and conservative talk radio you hear rumors of terrorists sneaking across the border to attack Americans. Not to say that it's impossible, but, to date, there is not one single incident involving someone crossing the Mexican border and then successfully committing a terrorist act in the United States. None.
However, it is fair to note that Shain Duka, Britan Duka, and Eljvir Duka crossed as children with their parents in 1984 and then plotted to commit a terrorist act twenty years later which was thwarted by the FBI. But, no one that I am aware of has ever tried to argue that their parents crossed the border in 1984 so that their kids could commit an act of terrorism in 2007.
Myth #3: Illegal Immigration is driving up crime rates in the US.
Reality: This is a tough myth to bust, especially after four years of former President Trump's foolish and overheated rhetoric. But studies have shown that it's simply not true. Actually, there is more evidence that undocumented immigrants have lower crime rates than native-born, Americans.
Some of the research was summarized in an article by Emily Moon for the Pacific Standard:
Christopher Wilson, Washington Post: ... "FBI statistics I have analyzed for a forthcoming report for the Mexico Institute show that from 2011 to 2015, all but one of the 23 U.S. counties along the border had violent-crime rates lower than the national average for similar counties, a finding that echoes previous analyses."
From the Journal "Criminology": Recent research by Professor Michael T. Light, and PhD candidate Ty Miller showed that "undocumented immigration does not increase violence."...
Cato Institute: "A Cato Institute study looked at prison data and found that the incarceration rate for native-born Americas was 1.53 %, compared to 0.85 % for illegal immigrants and 0.47 % for legal immigrants."
And, a new analysis by the Marshall Project and the New York Times of crime statistics and undocumented immigrant populations found that U.S. cities that take in larger numbers of illegals do not see higher rates of violent and property crime.
New York Times: "...The analysis found that crime went down at similar rates regardless of whether the undocumented population rose or fell. Areas with more unauthorized migration appeared to have larger drops in crime, although the difference was small and uncertain."
The Marshall Project study adds to the growing body of evidence that Donald Trump's stereotype of the violent, lawless immigrant was always a lie.
New York Times: "The results of the [Marshall Project] analysis resemble those of other studies on the relationship between undocumented immigration and crime. Last year, a report by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, found that unauthorized immigrants in Texas committed fewer crimes than their native-born counterparts. A state-level analysis in Criminology, an academic journal, found that undocumented immigration did not increase violent crime and was in fact associated with slight decreases in it. Another Cato study found that unauthorized immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated."
Cato updated their study recently by looking at crime data from Texas in 2017 and the results are even more remarkable.
Illuminate: Their results show that in Texas in 2017, "illegal immigrants were 47 percent less likely to be convicted of a crime than native-born Americans and legal immigrants were about 65 percent less likely to be convicted of a crime than native-born Americans. The conviction and arrest rates for illegal immigrants were lower than those for native-born Americans but higher than those for legal immigrants. This result holds in just about every case, including homicide, sex crimes, larceny, and most other crimes."
Simply put, there is no peer reviewed research showing that undocumented immigrants are more prone to criminal activity. Such claims have far more to do with racism and xenophobia than with reality.
Myth #4:Thousands [millions if you ask former President Donald Trump] of undocumented immigrants are voting illegally in our elections.
Reality: Voter fraud is exceedingly rare and there is no evidence that more than a handful of undocumented immigrants even try to vote in US elections. However, It's become a favorite right-wing conspiracy theory, one that former President Donald Trump never tires of repeating.
The Guardian: In 2017, Donald Trump repeatedly claimed without evidence that between 3 million and 5 million unauthorized immigrants had voted for Hillary Clinton. In the last few weeks [of May 2022], Trump has resurrected his lie during campaign rallies for Republican primary candidates he has endorsed – whipping up fears of “open borders and horrible elections”, and calling for stricter voter ID laws and proof of citizenship at the ballot box.
Former Trump administration policy adviser, Stephen Miller, claimed that large numbers of undocumented immigrants were voting in America. And Alex Jones of the conspiracy theory website "InfoWars" claimed three million illegals voted in 2016. Lou Dobbs of Fox News warned of illegals voting in the 2018 midterm elections.
There is now a mountain of research on voting fraud and fact-checkers like Politifact have worked overtime on the issue. It's a myth, one that Trump has kept alive to explain his 2020 defeat and popular vote loss in 2016. Other conservatives use the issue to provide a basis for voter suppression efforts.
Politifact: "Allegations of undue influence over American elections have become fairly commonplace in the Trump era. Trump himself has repeatedly claimed the existence of massive voter fraud and election rigging, which we’ve debunked again and again and again and again and again and again and again."
"There’s zero evidence of even dozens, let alone millions, of non citizens voting in this or any other election," said according to David Becker, the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, a non-profit focused on election integrity."
Ellen Weintraub, the chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission, addressed Trump's allegations of voter fraud generally several years ago.
Politico: “People have studied this. Academics have studied this. Lawyers have studied this. The government has studied this. Democrats have studied this. Republicans have studied this,” she continued. “And no one can find any evidence of rampant voter fraud either historically or particularly in the 2016 elections.”
And, how about former President Trump's infamous Voter Fraud Commission? Trump claimed he shut it down because the states wouldn't cooperate, but that is a lie. No one on the panel could find evidence of voter fraud by undocumented immigrants or anyone else.
Illuminate: "Maine secretary of state, Matt Dunlap, released a report yesterday detailing his review of 1800 files collected by President Trump's voter fraud panel known as the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. His report, which he published in the form of a letter, is here. Dunlap states in the letter that there is simply no evidence of voter fraud in the 2016 election."
New York Times: "In fact, no state has uncovered significant evidence to support the president’s claim, and election officials, including many Republicans, have strongly rejected it."
And, perhaps Trump's 2020 "stolen election" allegations will finally put the entire voting fraud myth to rest. There is simply no evidence that more than a handful of US citizens or undocumented immigrants are voting illegally.
Illuminate: If you are looking for a silver lining in Donald Trump's baseless  voter fraud witch hunt, it's that he is proving once and for all that voter fraud has always been a Republican conspiracy theory. Even with every Republican activist in America combing the results for fraud, they have found few examples of illegal activity. It was a remarkably free and fair election, more so than anyone could have imagined. In fact, Election officials of both parties seem a bit surprised by how few irregularities were found.
Myth #5: Spanish-speaking immigrants to the United States don't assimilate as fast as European immigrants have in the past.
Reality: This is an easy one, despite the "press 2 for Spanish" jokes. Actually, people coming to America today are assimilating faster than the waves of immigrants who came before them.
Sociologist Claude S. Fischer has been studying this for decades and wrote the book, "Made in America" about the issue. In a recent article he wrote:
Timeline: "Unfortunately, Americans hold a warped collective memory of earlier immigration history. Many assume that the European immigrants of generations past assimilated quickly, unlike Latin American, Asian, or Muslim immigrants today. Not true. Lasting ethnic enclaves like Greektowns and Little Italys were typical. Today’s immigrants actually learn English and forget their native languages faster than did the earlier newcomers."
A new paper by socioligist by David Lindstrom published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science adds to Fischer's work by showing that Mexican immigrants are actually assimilating faster now than ever before, and not just based on language skills.
Pacific Standard: Lindstrom found that Mexican immigrants' linguistic and social integration have steadily increased over the years. "The general trend for Mexican migrants is one of increasing contact and interaction with people outside of the Mexican community, regardless of whether they were temporary, long-term, or settled migrants."
Myth #6: Immigrants are using up scarce resources in America.
Reality: Despite the fact that people living illegally in the US cannot claim federal benefits like welfare, Medicaid, and food stamps, some still argue that they consume more public services than they contribute in taxes and fees. Former President Donald Trump claimed illegal immigration costs $113 billion a year to the US, but such arguments over-estimate their use of state and local government services, vastly underestimate the amount undocumented immigrants pay in taxes, don't count the economic impact of their spending on goods and services, and ignore their contribution to the labor force.
For instance, many people believe that illegals don't pay federal taxes, however, the IRS estimates that about half of undocumented immigrants actually do file individual income tax returns each year, and most Illegal immigrants pay social security and Medicare payroll taxes but are not eligible for benefits.
The same is true at the state level. The Texas State Comptroller reported in 2006 that the 1.4 million illegal immigrants in Texas alone added almost $18 billion to the state's budget, and paid $1.2 billion in state services they used. The Texas state controller's office found that "undocumented immigrants in Texas generate more taxes and other revenue than the state spends on them."
And a 2020 study conducted by researchers at Rice University found that for every dollar Texas spends on public services like schools and health care for undocumented immigrants, the state collects $1.21 in revenue.
Professor Francine J. Lipman addressed the cost-benefit question in his article "Taxing Undocumented Immigrants: Separate, Unequal and Without Representation." He notes that most cost-benefit analyses of the undocumented don't take into consideration their consumption of goods and services and subsidiary job creation.
"Americans believe that undocumented immigrants are exploiting the United States' economy. The widespread belief is that illegal aliens cost more in government services than they contribute to the economy. This belief is undeniably false. [E]very empirical study of illegals' economic impact demonstrates the opposite . . .: undocumenteds actually contribute more to public coffers in taxes than they cost in social services. Moreover, undocumented immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy through their investments and consumption of goods and services; filling of millions of essential worker positions resulting in subsidiary job creation, increased productivity and lower costs of goods and services; and unrequited contributions to Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance programs. Eighty-five percent of eminent economists surveyed have concluded that undocumented immigrants have had a positive (seventy-four percent) or neutral (eleven percent) impact on the U.S. economy."
Myth #7 Mexicans are more likely to engage in sexual assaults.
Reality: This is a particularly ugly myth that grew out of Donald Trump's "Mexican rapist" comments, with no basis in fact. Actually, they are underrepresented in the nation's sexual assault statistics.
Gustavo Arellano, Politico: "Latinos can—and better—rage at the cheap political points earned by sliming Mexicans with the rapist stereotype. And the best way to do it is with the truth: A 2011 U.S. Government Accountability Office study “Criminal Alien Statistics: Information on Incarcerations, Arrests and Costs” found that of the three million arrests of immigrants, legal or not, examined by investigators, only two percent were for sex offenses—two percent too many, but hardly an epidemic. It didn’t break down the ethnicity or legal status of the offenders, but the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey breaks down such stats by victims. For 2013 (the most recent year available), it shows that whites accounted for 71 percent of all sexual assaults documented (above their total percentage of 63 percent of the U.S. population), while Latinos accounted for 9 percent, far below their total percentage of 17 percent."
Myth #8: Local governments which designate themselves as "sanctuary cities" put their citizens at risk.
Reality: Again, it's quite the opposite. Sanctuary cites are at least as safe as those that cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] requests.
NPR: "A study conducted by Tom K. Wong, a political scientist at the University of California-San Diego, found that there are broad benefits for local jurisdictions that resist cooperating with federal immigration enforcement — they are safer in the aggregate and enjoy stronger economies. "For the first time we're kind of seeing that crime rates are lower when localities stay out of the business of federal immigration enforcement," Wong said."...
..."On average, counties that did not comply with ICE requests [sanctuary cities] experienced 35.5 fewer crimes per 10,000 people than those that did. Wong also found that counties that did not comply with detainer requests had higher household incomes, lower rates of unemployment, lower rates of poverty, and were less likely to have children under 18 in households receiving public benefits."
"The crime numbers did not surprise Wong. Research has shown that working with federal immigration enforcement made it harder for local police agencies to investigate crimes because witnesses and victims who were in the country illegally would be less likely to come forward if they thought they risked being detained and deported. It could be that sanctuary counties have immigrant populations who are more integrated into their social fabric and economies, he said."
Wong's research was substantiated recently by a paper published in Urban Affairs Review by Professors Benjamin Gonzalez O’Brien, Loren Collingwood, and Stephen Omar El-Khatib. Their study "found no significant differences in violent crime, property crime and rape between sanctuary and non-sanctuary cities."
Sage Journals: "We find no statistically discernible difference in violent crime, rape, or property crime rates across the cities. Our findings provide evidence that sanctuary policies have no effect on crime rates, despite narratives to the contrary. The potential benefits of sanctuary cities, such as better incorporation of the undocumented community and cooperation with police, thus have little cost for the cities in question in terms of crime."
Myth #9: Illegal Immigrants are smuggling a large percentage of the drugs entering the United States.
Reality: Most drugs are smuggled into the US by individuals legally crossing the southern border, not illegals entering between border checkpoints. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, most heroin is smuggled into the country by passenger vehicles driven through legal border crossings and by tractor-trailers in which the drugs are mixed in with legal goods. The same is true for other hard drugs like cocaine and meth.
NPR: Interview with Gil Kerlikowske.
[Interviewer] Martin: "He [Kerlikowske] knows both the border and the problem of illegal drug trafficking well because he was director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection from 2014 to 2017. And before that, from 2009 to 2014, he ran the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy."
Kerlikowske: "So the drugs that are actually taking the lives of people here in the United States - methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl - almost universally come through the ports of entry along the southern border - so that is people that carry them on their bodies or even in their bodies or cars or vehicles. And then the second way is through the international postal mail service."
MARTIN: "And when you say most, what do you mean? Like, 50 percent, 60 percent, 90 percent?"
Kerlikowske: "Oh, well over 90 percent. People don't backpack or try to sneak those drugs across the border between the ports of entry because, one, they could be caught by the Border Patrol. Number two, they don't really trust those people to do that. So it's much better for them to have somebody that is taking the drugs through a port of entry where they're met on the other side of the port here in the United States, and those drugs are immediately taken."
The reality is that even if we stopped all illegal immigration, America would still be awash in dangerous drugs. Undocumented immigrants are a convenient scapegoat, but they have little to do with the problem.
Myth #10: America faces an invasion and is overrun by both legal and illegal immigrants, more than ever before.
Reality: America has always had a significant immigrant population, and millions of immigrants poured into the United States after the Civil War. By 1890, 14.8% of the nation's population had come from other countries. Immigration decreased after the Second World War but increased again late in the century and as of late 2020 immigrants, legal and otherwise, accounted for 13.6% of the U.S. population, still below the highs recorded in the late nineteenth century. And, for the sake of comparison, our immigrant population is substantially less than Canada where 20.6% of the population was born elsewhere.
It's quite likely that America's immigrant population will continue to increase because of the need to replace retiring baby boomers in the economy. As we have written before, America is going to need more immigrants, not less, in the years to come.
Professor Jack Goldstone, Reason: "If we want our economy to grow, what America needs more than anything is workers. Domestic fertility rates are plummeting even as the boomers are rushing into retirement. The U.S. birth rate hit an all-time low in 2017: 1.7 children per woman, well below the "replacement rate" of 2.1. At the same time, the number of immigrants entering the country has slowed considerably, thanks in part to the Great Recession of 2007–09. Not only do these trends put enormous pressure on the country's entitlement system, they are already causing a drag on the economy. And this problem will only get more serious in the decades to come. Unless the U.S. finds a way to welcome more foreigners, and quickly, it is headed for a demographic crisis."
As we have noted several times recently, America is already feeling the effects of that demographic crisis.
Myth #11: Conservatives of the white nationalist variety argue that immigration, legal and illegal, is part of a plot [by Democrats or George Soros and other Jews, depending on who you ask] to replace "white European Americans" with brown and Asian people. Researchers call this myth the "white genocide conspiracy theory, the white extinction theory or "the great replacement theory." It has racist roots and has been embraced by white supremacists in the US and Europe.
Reality: This is a particularly ugly, absurd, and dangerous conspiracy theory, and the reality is way more rational and boring. Mexicans, Central Americans, and, increasingly, Asians come here to find better job opportunities and escape crime and violence. No plot or liberal cabal is involved. And, even though America is becoming more diverse, in 2050 there will still be plenty of white folks [many more than Hispanics or Blacks or Asians], and you can bet they will still be running things in Washington and the nation's corporate board-rooms. So, calm down.
White nationalists adopted the "great replacement theory" to provide a thin varnish of legitimacy to their prejudice, a Casus belli for their war against non-whites and immigrants. Such delusions have circulated among white nationalists for decades and they influenced the perpetrators of a string of mass killings including the recent massacre in Buffalo, NY.
Illuminate: "All those "great replacement" conspiracy theories came home to roost again yesterday when 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron drove 200 miles to murder shoppers and store employees in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, NY killing 10 people and wounding three others. Gendon posted a rambling white supremacist 180-page manifesto just prior to the attack."
Immigrants have also been targeted based on replacement theory ideology. In 2019, Patrick Crusius opened fired in a Walmart store in El Paso, killing 22 people and injuring more than two dozen others. Like Gendon, he also wrote a manifesto.
New York Times: "The authorities said the suspect, Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old white man, wrote a hate-filled, anti-immigrant manifesto that appeared online minutes before the massacre. Echoing the man accused of fatally shooting dozens of people at two mosques in New Zealand in March, the El Paso gunman’s manifesto mentioned the “great replacement,” a conspiracy theory that warns of white genocide."
Donald Trump and Fox News commentators like Tucker Carlson contribute to the replacement myth by dehumanizing undocumented migrants by labeling them as "drug dealers and rapists" entering the country to commit crimes and collect welfare. Like all these conspiracy theories involving illegals, it's simply a fantasy driven by naked racism without a shred of proof.
The myths discussed above won't fade easily because there are populist politicians that need illegal immigration to remain a "crisis" and thus a campaign issue.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content