Some people have no problem being vocal about their thoughts on "illegal aliens" (including unabashedly using the term "aliens" to refer to human beings, which is definitely not OK); and now we're getting a response from the so-called "aliens" themselves. A recent video by Define American is showing us exactly what undocumented Americans think of nasty tweets about them, after reading them aloud to the camera. Define American is a media and culture organization that encourages us to look at how we — you guessed it — define being "American," thereby changing the way we talk about immigrants. This video undoubtedly creates an interesting dialogue about the politics surrounding undocumented immigrants, employing the Jimmy Kimmel-esque method of putting negative tweets in the spotlight.
There are a huge number of stereotypes that we assign to undocumented Americans: They're stealing your jobs! They're stealing your money! They're breaking into your homes in the middle of the night! Except that in actuality... no. There are countless misconceptions about immigrants including the fact that the situation is compounding year after year. In reality, the number of people immigrating to this country (from Mexico specifically) is going down — and in fact, more people are returning to Mexico than are illegally coming to America. Additionally, residents of Canada, Asia, Europe, Africa, and other countries make up about 20 percent of immigrants. (Oh, and in case you think they don't pay taxes, they do — over $11 billion buckaroonies.)
Why, then, do these silly stereotypes persist? With the many misconceptions about undocumented immigrants, your safest bet is to do your research before you share that tweet. To make things super simple for you, here are six instances when illegal immigration shouldn't be part of your Twitter rant.
1. When Math Isn't Your Thing
Sounds like you owe someone a big, fat "thank you."
2. When Geography Isn't Your Thing
China and Mexico are approximately 7,979 miles apart, most of which is the Pacific Ocean. Nobody is that good of a swimmer. Sorry.
3. When Grammar Isn't Your Thing
This gives me cramps.
4. When You Think Undocumented Americans Get A Free Ride
Try again — because the only people paying for undocumented Americans to go to college, are the undocumented Americans going to college. They're not elligible for loans, so they pay their way through themselves. As a result, they also graduate with no debt.
5. When You Compare America To A Concert
Except that this is a country, not a concert.
6. When You Forget That Mexico Is A Major Travel Destination
Not only is it home to Cancun (#SpringBreak2006!!!!), but it also hosts stunning resorts like Valentin Imperial Maya, where you can get a tropical body wrap just before you relax in the hydro massage bathtub in your luxury suite. Sign me up!
You've got to check out the video in full. You might realize that your viewpoint on these people wasn't quite so fair.