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Continue learning the truth about immigrants and immigration in the U.S.
It's time to unlearn that immigrants are a burden. Scripture, our own experiences, and truths about the economy and our communities teach us immigrants are a blessing.
Immigrants are Growing U.S. Churches
While the Church watches many American adults walk out the front door, it seems that immigrants are walking in the back door, largely unnoticed. It's time to change the conversation in congregations: the Church is growing - the Christian Reformed Church included - because God has brought the vibrant faith of immigrant Christians to our faith communities.
Immigrants Produce Jobs And Strengthen The Economy
Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants, employing nearly 14 million people. For every one immigrant, as many as five jobs are created for American-born workers. Over all, higher immigration levels correspond with higher employment rates. Additionally, this resource from America's Voice provides a comprehensive look at the question "Do immigrants pay taxes?" You can also learn more about Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers for more insight on this issue from the National Immigration Forum.
Everything We Eat Was Touched By Immigrant Hands
Up to 70 percent of U.S. farm workers are undocumented immigrants. As we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, these workers are essential to keeping Americans fed and alive. They are their employers would be happy to work within the law, but limited numbers of visas and our broken immigration system make that mostly impossible.
Because Of Immigrants, Medicare And Social Security Programs Still Function
Immigrants, whether they are documented or undocumented, are major contributors to the economic well-being of many safety-net programs. They are pumping more money into the system and taking fewer benefits out. When it comes to Medicare, for example, immigrants are contributing $62 more per person than a US-born person, and they claim $172 less in benefits. Specific to refugees, studies show that over their first 20 years in the U.S., the average adult refugee ends up paying more in taxes than they receive in government benefits.
Immigrants Keep Neighborhoods Safe
Immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people who were born in the U.S. Neighborhoods with a high number of immigrant families have lower crime rates, and immigration status alone often means decreased crime rates in a neighborhood.
Refugees Are Fleeing Persecution
Refugees go through a robust vetting process—the most rigorous of all immigrants entering the U.S. Simply put, they do not pose a threat to the safety of U.S. citizens. Since the Refugee Act of 1980 established the vetting process in use today, no one admitted as a refugee has committed a terror attack in the U.S.; the chance of an American dying in a terrorist attack by a refugee is 1 in 3.64 billion per year.
Dreamers are Strengthening the U.S. Economy
Many DACA recipients have bought their first homes, most have purchased their first car since getting DACA. Fortune 500 companies—including Walmart, Apple, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, Home Depot, and Wells Fargo, have hired DACA recipients. Ending DACA, without a legislative replacement, like the Dream Act, would cost our country $460.3 billion in the next decade.
Immigrants are a Gift from God
"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."—Hebrews 13:2
Scripture teaches over and over that God can send strangers as a gift. Angels can be disguised as strangers or a stranger could be the very presence of Christ (Matthew 25).
For even more opportunities to learn, check out our Immigration Resources page. You can also sign up for our Immigration Newsletter to stay up-to-date on ways to advocate for our immigrant neighbors.