Today’s post by Yvette Shock at CWS takes on the myth that all undocumented workers have crossed the border without permission to get into the country–a claim reinforced by political ads like this one in Nevada. As Yvette notes:
As many as 45% of all immigrants who are currently undocumented entered the country through a legal port of entry and with the proper documentation. They may have overstayed a visa — a civil, not criminal infraction – but they were never part of that shadowy scene featured in the campaign ad.
This is an under-reported point. Opponents of reform capitalize on the visual of immigrants illicitly sneaking across the border to ‘prove’ that they are criminals who have something to hide. This false implication feeds the misguided argument that border security is the silver-bullet solution, providing ample cover for those who would rather score political points on the issue than propose reasonable solutions for the immigrants who are already here.
The reality that almost half of the population we’re talking about entered the country with official approval does a lot to start exposing these tactics as simplistic demagoguery.