It is all but inevitable that in any political debate, the topic of immigration will be brought up. It is a contentious one, to be sure, but too many people make the mistake of oversimplifying the extremely complicated laws and proposed laws related to immigration. This can lead to considerable confusion, wrongful assumptions and misguided decision-making.
For instance, many people are under the assumption that the rate of people crossing into the U.S. from Mexico without proper permission is extraordinarily high and aggressive action needs to be taken to address the issue. But according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. from Mexico has actually declined in the past nine years.
The study showed that of the 16 million Mexican immigrants are living in the U.S., just 5.6 million were here without proper documentation in 2014. This is a decline from the 6.4 million recorded in 2009. Further, this group represented just 3.5 percent of the U.S. population in 2014, which is a decline from numbers recorded in 2007.
These numbers paint a dramatically different picture than the one that suggests huge numbers of Mexican immigrants are crossing the border without authorization on a regular basis.
This is not to say that unauthorized immigration is not a concern. However, inflating the issue can have a serious impact on how lawmakers address immigration policies and how all immigrants in the U.S. are treated.
Regardless of which side of the debate you may be on, the fact is that immigration laws are constantly being challenged and assessed. Changes in policies can happen quickly and it can be very difficult to keep up with and understand all the ways in which people are affected by these changes.
Because of all this, anyone with questions or concerns about issues related to status, citizenship or legal protections is encouraged to speak with an attorney familiar with immigration laws and policies.