Five Myths about Immigration - a summary of david cole's view.

Essay by snowgrenadeUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 2003

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Author David Cole explains in "Five Myths about Immigration" that people are misinformed about immigrants in America and blame them for all the problems in the American society. Cole comments that the "Native Americans", which have nothing to do with what we call Native Americans today, were labeled as "Know-Nothings" because they simply did not know anything about immigrants and prejudged immigrants who came into the country. The author quotes one "Know-Nothing" for saying that "more than half the prisons and almshouses, more than half the police and the cost of administering criminal justice are for foreigners." In the 1860s, immigrants arrived from Ireland and Germany causing "anti-alien and anti-Catholic sentiments" to appear in states such as Massachusetts and New York. Cole takes this topic to heart because his ancestors were among the "dirt-poor Irish-Catholics" who moved to America in the 1960s but were fortunate because after fifteen years the prejudice faded away.

Now, 140 years later, the author points out that a similar prejudice has returned with the exception that the focus has changed from "Irish Catholics and Germans" to "Latin Americans (most recently, Cubans), Haitians, and Arab-Americans." Cole explains how five commonly held beliefs regarding immigrants to the United States, are in reality "myths."

Cole's first misunderstanding "myth" is that "America is being overrun with immigrants." America is a "nation of immigrants", which has been true since Christopher Columbus landed in this country. Although most Americans believe that foreign-born people make up a large population of the United States, Cole notes that only eight percent of immigrants fall in this category. In fact, "between seventy and eighty percent" of those who immigrate each year are "refugees and immediate relatives of U.S. citizens." In addition, immigrants living in the United States only make up one percent of the country's...