A new survey from the Pew Research Center shows Americans worry that their fellow Americans cannot tell fact from fiction. They might be right. Given five opinions and five facts, just 26% could identify all the facts as facts.
The new survey also found 73% of Americans now think Americans mostly disagree about “basic facts,” not just about policies or plans for improving the country.
Is the U.S. crowded with immigrants who are here illegally?
Native-born Americans, on average, guess that legal immigrants are 36% of the U.S. population. But all immigrants are only 13.5% of the population. Less than 3.5% of the U.S. population are undocumented immigrants.
The percentage of immigrants in the U.S. population has more than doubled in the last five decades. But this is mostly because native-born Americans are growing older, as well as having fewer kids when they are young.
Even a constant rate of immigration would steadily grow the immigrant share of the population.
Do immigrants commit more crime?
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the number and percentage of immigrants grew very quickly from 1990 to 2010, a time when violent crime and property crime both dropped by more than 40%.
Other ways of trying to answer this question give similar results. If immigrants commit a lot of crime, it does not show up in the numbers.
Do immigrants pay fewer taxes and use more benefits?
The amount of tax money immigrants pay each year varies from $90 to $140 billion, and studies show they get less in benefits than they pay in.
Immigrants with a lawful status usually must wait at least five years before they might become eligible for federal benefits like food stamps, Medicaid and Medicare or Social Security.
While they wait, the government usually still takes Social Security money out of their paychecks. Immigrants who do become eligible for benefits use them at a rate 27% lower than comparable native-born Americans.
Even undocumented immigrants pay over $11 billion in taxes every year. However, they are not eligible for most federal benefits like food stamps, Medicaid and Medicare or Social Security.