Debunking Immigration Misconceptions

Why do immigrants come here illegally?

Immigration has become a hot button issue for many Americans in recent years.  There are numerous misconceptions swirling about immigration that have caused some Americans to be fearful, wary, or even angry about undocumented immigrants.  Our immigration lawyers at NPZ Law Group debunk some common immigration misconceptions below. 

  1. Illegal immigrants are criminals.
  2. It is not a crime to be an undocumented immigrant in the United States.  The Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot pass laws enforcing federal immigration law.  If an undocumented individual is found by federal immigration officers, he or she can be subjected to removal proceedings.  These are civil proceedings and not criminal in nature.

    It is illegal, however, to enter the U.S. without permission.  Most immigrants that are here undocumented never crossed the border illegally; rather, many undocumented immigrants are here after overstaying their work or travel visa.  This is a civil violation, not criminal, and removal through civil proceedings is the potential punishment.

  3. Illegal immigrants choose to come here illegally instead of immigrating legally.
  4. Many people are unsympathetic to undocumented immigrants because they believe illegal immigrants willfully elect to forego the legal path to immigration and come here illegally instead.  The reality is that immigrating here legally is extraordinarily difficult and even impossible for some. 

    The current immigration act allows for the same number of immigrants to come from each country per year.  However, certain countries and regions have a lot more immigrants attempting to get into the U.S.  Mexico and Central America hit their percentages quickly, creating a consistent waiting list that reaches up to 20 years.  It is simply not realistic for would be immigrants to wait 20 plus years to lawfully enter the country, leading many to seek alternatives for entering the U.S. 

  5. Undocumented immigrants take away American jobs.
  6. Immigrants make up only a small portion of the American workforce.  Studies consistently show that the legalization of undocumented people, as occurred in the 1980’s, did not hurt American wages, but rather increased them.  There is significant demand for undocumented workers in many fields where U.S. citizens traditionally do not want to work, such as seasonal farm labor.  Immigrants working in these fields do not have an impact on the American workforce. 

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107).  You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at