In David ColeÆs (189-192) essay ôFive Myths about Immigration,ö the author undermines five common myths typically and historically associated with immigrant populations: 1) America is being overrun with immigrants; 2) Immigrants take jobs from U.S. citizens; 3) Immigrants are a drain on societyÆs resources; 4) Aliens refuse to assimilate, depriving us of our cultural and political unity; and 5) Non-citizen immigrants are not entitled to Constitutional rights. In his arguments, Cole systematically undermines all five of these myths about immigrants, arguments this analysis will critique.
Though long a land of immigrants, when there are social and economic problems in American society, immigrants are often quick to blame such woes on immigrants. As Cole (190) points out, anti-immigrant sentiment crops up ôwhenever the American public begins to feel vulnerable and in need of an enemy.ö Such sentiments often manifest a number of myths regarding the impact of immigrants on U.S. society and culture. One of these myths if that the nation is being overrun by immigrants. Statistically, this myth has no basis in fact, as foreign born people comprise only 8 percent of the population, while undocumented immigrants, often the main target of anti-immigration policies account for a mere 1 percent of the population (Cole 190). As to the myth that immigrants take jobs from U.S. citizens, ôimmigrants actually create more jobs than they fillö and are ôoften highly productiveö (Cole 191). Additionally, new immigrants often take menial, difficult and low-paying jobs that most ôAmericansö will not fill.
As to immigrants representing a drain on societyÆs resources, Cole admits this may be true for the short-run at the state and local levels but it is not the case at the federal level. In states like California, Texas, and Florida, where large numbers of contemporary immigrants reside, immigrants do plac