Powerful Celebrity-Packed Video Reminds Americans Of This One Simple Truth
June is Immigrant Heritage Month. It's a time for Americans to come together and celebrate the immigrant tradition that has made this country what it is today.
In recognition of this occasion, Welcome.us, a non-profit dedicated to celebrating diversity and America's immigrant heritage, launched a new campaign called “I Am An Immigrant.” The campaign aims to give people a platform to celebrate their immigrant past and stand in solidarity with immigrants in the present day.
A video featuring celebrities like Lupita Nyong'o and Rosario Dawson was released on Wednesday to kickoff the campaign, which you can view above.
Immigration continues to be a hotbed issue in the United States. While many would like to see a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in this country, others would like to see all of them deported.
Those with a negative view of undocumented immigrants take issue with the fact they didn't enter the US by legal means, and believe they have an adverse impact on the US economy while also breeding crime. These individuals are seemingly unaware that approximately 40 percent of undocumented immigrants actually entered the US legally but overstayed their visas.
It's true that entering the US without documentation is illegal, but the concerns surrounding the economy and crime in relation to undocumented immigrants are not based in reality.
There is widespread evidence undocumented immigrants actually help the economy. A recent study from the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, for example, found undocumented immigrants collectively pay around $12 billion in state and local taxes every year.
It's also misleading to paint undocumented immigrants as criminals, as studies show they are less likely than native-born Americans to commit violent crimes or be incarcerated.
Animosity toward immigrants in the US is nothing new. In spite of the fact the US is a nation of immigrants, new arrivals to America have often been met with disdain and suspicion.
From its earliest days, certain segments of America have taken a very nativist stance toward immigrants, essentially arguing that they were here first and have more right to this land. This argument is pretty absurd, particularly when you recognize Americans live on land that was violently taken from indigenous peoples and cultivated by slaves.
The fact of the matter is, immigrants have always added to the dynamism and strength of this country. We should celebrate and stand with immigrants, because we're a nation of immigrants.