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Report urges alternative to mass deportation of illegal immigrants

Published on Sun, Feb 12, 2012

BISBEE — A special report issued earlier this month by the Immigration Policy Center called “Discrediting ‘Self Deportation’ as Immigration Policy” argues that forcing all illegal immigrants to leave the United States would make life difficult for everyone.

The strategy called “attrition through enforcement” was conceived by national immigration restrictionist organizations, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Center for Immigration Studies and Numbers USA.

“While these groups favor severe restrictions on all immigration and support mass deportation, they are also proponents of this strategy. Recognizing the current political reality, they have sought to market the idea of attrition through enforcement as a kinder, gentler alternative to the harsh, expensive, and unworkable strategy of mass deportation,” states the Immigration Policy Center report.

“According to CIS (Center for Immigration Studies), attrition through enforcement involves reducing the number of unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S., and deterring future unauthorized immigrants from coming, by stepping up enforcement of existing laws and increasing the incentives for immigrants to ‘deport themselves.’ As Numbers USA puts it: ‘There is no need for taxpayers to watch the government spend billions of their dollars to round up and deport illegal aliens; they will buy their own bus or plane tickets back home if they can no longer earn a living here,’” it continues.

According to its Web site, the Immigration Policy Center is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC’s mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. In its report, the group points out that attrition through enforcement has not resulted in a significant reduction in the unauthorized immigrant population, and it has had a devastating impact on communities.

“Is making our communities so thoroughly inhospitable that people will choose to leave really in line with our values as Americans? If we go this route, how do we distinguish ourselves from those immigrant‐sending countries where crime, terrorism, economic turmoil, and political violence make living conditions unbearable, causing migrants to leave?” the report asks.

The Immigration Policy Center maintains that instead of the de facto strategy of attrition through enforcement, it’s possible to create a well‐functioning, national, legal immigration system, and that Congress and the President can engage in a serious legislative process to humanely deal with millions of unauthorized immigrants who live here and to reform the family‐ and employment‐based visa systems.

On the other hand, Al Garza of Huachuca City said he supports attrition through enforcement or self deportation. He said he thinks it is neither draconian, nor inhumane, and it is clearly not anti-immigrant. Garza is a national leader/advisor for the Border Security Movement, the combined efforts of organizations including the Tea parties. Also, he is the former national executive director of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. “By order of the President, the Department of Homeland Security has implemented stealth amnesty by halting deportations, providing deceptive reports and undermining the very laws they are responsible to enforce,” he said.

The Federal Immigration and Nationality Act clearly defines aiding and abetting as a felony, he added. When the federal government fails or ignores enforcement of the immigration laws, it becomes the responsibility of each state to protect its citizens of all colors, race or creed.

“Being of Mexican origin, I am appalled at Mexico’s hypocrisy, its draconian cheap labor exportation, its inhumane treatment of its citizens and its audacity for suing American citizens when we demand enforcement of our laws,” Garza said. “If United States citizens are guilty of civil rights violations for enforcing laws that quell an out of control invasion, then Mexico is guilty of human rights violations for forcing its citizens to flee the corruption and maltreatment they are forced to endure. Suffice it to say, ‘Attrition by Enforcement’ is a most civil and humane approach to the illegal immigration dilemma. We will no longer survive as a nation if we remain as Mexico’s relief valve,” he continued.

Published in the The Sierra Vista Herald | Read Article