FiveThirtyEight just shined a light on the the false perception that undocumented immigrants are a plague on the United States. While politicians and pundits generate fear to appease their constituents, actual research shows that most of what we hear is either incorrect or just outright false claims. For example, research proves that undocumented immigrants are less likely to engage in criminal behavior than actual U.S. citizens. And since 2007, the population of undocumented workers in the U.S. has slightly shrunk from 5.4 percent to 5.0 percent. According to the Pew Research Center, most of the states that support a border wall have some of the lowest populations of undocumented immigrants in the country.
This map shows the percentage of the population that is undocumented.
CREDIT: PEW RESEARCH CENTER
And this map shows which states (in red) support building a border wall.
From these two maps, only Texas, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina and Utah have populations of undocumented immigrants that exceed five percent, and are potentially voting for Trump. And of those, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina are swing states that could end up voting against a border wall. While this is no way a scientific metric, it does show that the majority of the states that outright oppose undocumented workers – the bulk of the red states – tend to have the lowest populations of immigrants. The take away here: people fear what they don’t understand.