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No, Not All Undocumented Immigrants Are Mexican



The topic of illegal immigration is one that just can’t seem to be avoided on news feeds anymore. Whether it’s a video of a high school valedictorian telling her entire graduation class that she is undocumented or Trump spewing venomous words of racism and hate, the conversation on illegal immigration is one that everyone has an opinion on. And for the most part, undocumented immigrants can’t catch a break. Especially if they’re Mexican.

Most Americans have become used to hearing “illegal immigrants” and thinking “Mexican”, but as it turns out, this isn’t necessarily the case. While it has been estimated that out of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. roughly half are from Mexico, that still leaves the other half of undocumented immigrants that no one seems to ever talk about. Most Americans that say they are concerned about illegal immigration say something along the lines of immigrants needing to “follow the rules the same way everyone else did.” It can be easy to zero in on the immigrants from Mexico because it is the one singular country that contributes the most undocumented immigrants, but if you say you are concerned with undocumented immigrants in America then why are you only concerned with half of them?

This is certainly not meant to encourage the same people that attack undocumented Mexican immigrants to attack other undocumented immigrants. This is meant to give those people a better idea of who they are really attacking when they feed into the rhetoric surrounding undocumented immigrants. While Mexico may have the highest rate of people entering the U.S. without proper documentation, two other regions have the highest rates of immigrants staying in America past the expiration of their visas. Europeans and Canadians actually have the highest rates of visa overstays in America. Though this is not considered the same thing as entering the country illegally considering the individuals did obtain proper authorization, staying past the time permitted by a visa is a direct violation of current immigration laws. What was it you were saying about following the rules? Ever heard someone call to deport Canadians or Europeans? Me neither.

Now, I know, I know. Canadians and Europeans aren’t the “criminals and rapists.” Mexicans are the criminals and the rapists in America, and that’s why they’re the problem when discussing immigration in America. But are they really? Are you sure about that? Contrary to popular belief, immigrants (regardless of whether or not they’re documented) are not predisposed to crime and they never were. Roughly 5% of the United States’ prison population is comprised of non-citizens. Between 2010 and 2014, a mere 121 people were released from immigration custody and later charged with murder-roughly a thousandth of a percent of total undocumented immigrants. Meanwhile, it has been reported that 52% of rapists are white and crime rates are significantly lower among first generation immigrants than they are among second generation. So if immigrants aren’t responsible for all of this crime in America then who is? Oh, that’s right. It’s all of the people complaining about immigrants in America.

So, wait… Does this mean Donald Trump was… wrong? Of course it does, and of course he was.

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Sara Beyer is an eighteen year old girl from Buffalo, New York. She likes talking about politics, dismantling the patriarchy, and wearing lipstick.

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