The hot new immigration buzzword these days is “self-deportation” (recently made popular by Mitt Romney), also known as “attrition through enforcement,” and the Immigration Policy Center has a new report this week explaining the full, frightening reality of what it is.
As the introduction to the report reads:
The plan is called “attrition through enforcement” (sometimes called “self deportation”) and the groups behind it have created a web of federal and state legislative proposals that seek to reduce illegal immigration by making it difficult, if not impossible, for unauthorized immigrants to live in American society. While individual proposals may appear to be relatively benign, they are part of a larger systematic plan that undermines basic human rights, devastates local economies, and places unnecessary burdens on U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants.
IPC’s blog at Daily Kos has more:
They say they’re just enforcing current law, but in reality, they are creating new laws new penalties for violating those laws.
While attrition through enforcement might, at first, seem more reasonable than mass deportation, the goal is the same—make sure all unlawfully present immigrants leave the US, regardless of how long they’ve been here, how rooted they are in their community, and how many US citizen family members they have. The result has been undermining human rights, devastating families and communities, hurting local economies and placing unnecessary burdens on all Americans.
While not every state legislator who is legitimately concerned with unauthorized immigration or who introduces an immigration-related bill is promoting a national strategy of attrition through enforcement, it’s not too hard to see that some state laws are part of an organized strategy. Arizona’s SB1070 says right in the law that the “intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona.” State Senator Scott Beason of Alabama stated that his recently passed law “attacks every aspect of an illegal alien’s life” and is “designed to make it difficult for them to live here.” Alabama’s state Representative Mickey Hammon said his law “was not designed to go out and arrest tremendous numbers of people. Most folks in the state illegally will self-deport and move to states that are supportive of large numbers of illegals coming to their state.”