Like many highly politicized issues, the debate on immigration policy runs high on emotion and low on facts. Many anti-immigration positions are rooted in social biases and framed in an economic argument to rationalize these prejudices. Take, for example, the assertions about immigrants stealing jobs and draining welfare programs — they play directly into the stereotypes of a conniving and lazy immigrant, on top of exacerbating economic concerns.
Immigrants certainly impact their communities, but how much of it is as negative as the tornado of alarming political rhetoric claims it to be? A new interactive map created by the bipartisan group New American Economy (NAE) is attempting to shed light on the issue by providing a resource to help people understand how immigration affects the communities they live in. Dubbed Map The Impact, the website contains immigrant economic data in all 50 states, and down to every single congressional district in the country, from how much immigrants paid in taxes to the number of employees in immigrant-owned companies.