PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Immigration: Myth Vs. Fact

Here are some common "myths" you may have heard about immigration. Do you know what's true and what isn't?

Myth: Immigrants move to new countries to get on welfare, unemployment, or other "free money" programs.
Fact: People usually move to new countries in search of honest work for decent pay. Most immigrants work and pay taxes, so they actually help their new nation's economy rather than hurt it.

Myth: Immigrants take jobs away from people who already live in a country.
Fact: In some cases, new arrivals in a country do compete for jobs with people already living there. But more often, new immigrants take low-paying jobs that others don't want, or create their own businesses and jobs.

Myth: Most immigrants sneak into a new country illegally.
Fact: In the United States, two out of three new immigrants have either permanent or temporary legal status, meaning they're absolutely allowed to be in the country. Of the one-third of immigrants who are undocumented, about half of them entered the U.S. through a legal way, and the other half crossed the border secretly.

Myth: When people move to new countries, they bring crime with them.
Fact: Statistics show that in the U.S., immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

Myth: Immigrants don't want to learn the language and culture of their new country.
Fact: It can be hard to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture, especially for older adults. But most immigrants understand that learning the native language and customs can help them fit in, and even get better jobs. Younger immigrants and the children of immigrants usually find it easier to adapt

Myth: Immigrants aren't interested in becoming citizens of their new nation.
Fact: Many immigrants apply for citizenship, but depending on the laws of their new country, this can be a long and complicated process. Often, a person must live in a nation for many years before becoming a citizen is even an option.

So now you know more about the many reasons why people choose to immigrate, and the challenges they face in their new country. If you or someone you know is struggling with some of these challenges, the next page has advice on Finding Help, Giving Help.

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