Sifting through immigration rhetoric for the truth is a herculean task for even the most dedicated on the complex issue of immigration policy in the U.S. For example:1. The Human Rights Watch Report entitled “Forced Apart by the Numbers” (April 15, 2009) notes that although federal authorities have consistently recited the mantra that their focus is to find and remove illegal immigrants with violent criminal histories, nearly three-quarters of the approximate 897,000 immigrants deported from 1997 to 2007 after serving criminal sentences were serving such sentences for non-violent offenses. Some of the top reasons for deportation within the ten year period were entering the U.S. illegally (a misdemeanor under 8 USC 1325 ) and driving under the influence of alcohol. While criminal actions should be punished, it is important to get the facts straight to assess the impact of enforcement assets in the immigration spin zone. See the report at: In addition, it is important to remember that many deportees have US citizen children, who are being left behind once their parents are removed from the US. The Pew Hispanic Center study released Tuesday shows that 73 percent of the children of illegal immigrants are U.S. born citizens and one in ten Texas children has an undocumented parent. The number of U.S.-citizen children born to illegal immigrants has dramatically increased over the past five years from 2.7 million in 2003 to 4 million in 2008. According to this study, Texas ranked number 2 in the country as to the size of the illegal immigrant population in a state. Interesting point to remember in light of the relative strength of Texas economically when compared to other states across the country. Does removing the parents of these children really serve our economic and humanitarian goals?

3. Then there is the H-B flashpoint in this economy, but perhaps sharpening your pitchfork is not in your best interests. Take a look at the series of articles by Mr. Wadhwa published on Business Week at and at It is important to remember that the number of H-1B holders in a region correlates to an increased filing of patents in that region. In addition, for every 1% increase in immigrants with university degrees, the number of patents filed per capita goes up 6% in the US. Indian born immigrants comprise less than 1% of the US population, but started 6.7% of the tech companies in the U.S. Seems like a chicken or egg comparison. We need more jobs, but we can also look to immigrants for creating many of them.

With the ongoing debate to come on immigration, we need to keep the eye on the truth to guide us through to a successful resolution.