8 immigration lies from 2013 | FAIRWhen it comes to immigration policy, politicians have been circulating a lot of falsehoods.  Here are just eight of them from Capitol Hill and the White House in 2013:

#8. Passing amnesty will help Republicans win elections.

Using the dramatic description of a “demographic death spiral,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) claimed that “The only way [the GOP] can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community, in my view, is pass comprehensive immigration reform.”  However, poll after poll has shown that Hispanics vote based on jobs and the economy, not immigration. As such, amnesty will not help Republicans gain Hispanic voters.  For more information, read FAIR’s Republicans Have An Immigration Problem and Amnesty Won’t Solve It.

#7. Insufficient “documentation” is not grounds for deportation.

In December of 2013, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told the Spanish-language network Telemundo that “If somebody is here without sufficient documentation, that is not reason for deportation.”  However, the Immigration and Nationality Act clearly reaches the opposite conclusion.  You do need sufficient documentation (such as a valid visa, passport, or border crossing card) to be admissible to enter and stay in the U.S., and if you are an inadmissible alien, it’s a ground for deportation.  See INA § 212(a)(7); § 237(a)(1).

#6.  A path to citizenship isn’t amnesty.

Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) is “opposed to amnesty for undocumented immigrants but looks forward to evaluating legislative proposals dealing with earned citizenship,” his spokesman Greg Lemon said. Representative Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) also tried to make the same distinction. Amnesty is defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as “the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals.” (See also Cambridge’s dictionary, where amnesty means “a decision by a government to forgive people who have committed particular illegal acts or crimes.”)  Giving legal status and work authorization to illegal aliens is “amnesty plus” because not only is the government pardoning their violation of the law, but is also giving illegal aliens what they sought by breaking the law in the first place – the right to live and work in the United States.

#5.   Illegal aliens are in the shadows.

On February 24, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, “11 million people sit in the twilight, the shadows of America.”  Anyone who has seen what illegal aliens have been up to this year would disagree.  Illegal alien Erika Andiola, who appeared on Time Magazine’s cover, worked for a Member of Congress, has a website, and held press conferences about fighting her mother’s deportation.  Other aggressive activists even took their protests to Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Virginia) condo and Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) house.  Stalking Members of Congress at their homes and harassing their families are efforts to get into the bright light of news network cameras, not staying in darkness.

#4.  American workers can’t do jobs that foreign workers can.

An aide to Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said, “There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it.”  Another Rubio aide added that this circumstance “is true for high-skilled workers.”  Although these comments were not made by the Senator himself, given that two of the staff for a Gang of Eight member addressed immigration in this way shows his office’s lack of knowledge about, or support for, the American worker.  For more information about misconceptions like this, read FAIR’s Jobs Americans Can’t Do? The Myth of a Skilled Worker Shortage.

#3. The Senate mass amnesty bill is sitting on House Speaker John Boehner’s desk.

Many Members of Congress called for Boehner to bring the Senate bill to a vote in the House in 2013. One of them, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said, “right now we have a bipartisan bill that passed the Senate sitting on John Boehner’s desk that he could take up right now.”  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) never sent the bill to the House, a necessary step before the Speaker of the House of Representatives can act.

#2. Biden’s ancestors were illegal aliens.

On December 11, 2013, during a streaming chat sponsored by Skype and Bing, Vice President Joe Biden said, “My great-great-grandparents came escaping the famine, and they didn’t all come here legally.” “Not true,” according to Temple Law Professor Jan Ting.  There were no limits on U.S. immigration during the potato famine of the 1840s when Biden’s ancestors left Ireland.

#1. Obama never met his illegal alien uncle.

Last year, the White House told the Boston Globe that President Barack Obama had never met his uncle Omar.  Then, this December, Uncle Omar testified that President Obama not only met him, but lived with him in Cambridge when he came to attend Harvard Law.  The White House retracted their earlier statement, claiming that “Nobody spoke to the President” to corroborate the Administration’s claim that President Obama had never met his uncle.