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"Self-Deportation" is no joke

Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

 

The ‘self-deportation’ fantasy

 

Quote:
BY DECLARING that “self-deportation” is the solution to illegal immigration, Mitt Romney gave voice to an idea in wide currency among Republicans — that America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants would simply go home if government made their lives miserable enough. But even by the debased standards of primary-season rhetoric, the idea is as simple-minded and absurd as it is popular — as Mr. Romney’s rival, Newt Gingrich, quickly pointed out.

“Self-deportation” is snappy and sound-biteable; hence its superficial appeal. Slap together a water-tight employment verification law, issue IDs to legal workers, add some harassment from state and local authorities, and watch the unpapered immigrants stream south over the border whence they came. If they want to return to the United States, said Mr. Romney, they can get to the “back of the line.”

The idea’s inanity is masked by its allure for some who hate illegal immigration but concede that mass roundups and deportations would be unseemly and prohibitively expensive. Better, they say, that illegal immigrants leave under their own steam — and pay their travel expenses, too.

 

Romney’s Plan for ‘Self-Deportation’ Has Conservative Support

 

Quote:
When Mitt Romney said in the Republican debate on Monday night that he favored “self-deportation” as a solution to illegal immigration, it seemed to come out of the blue, perhaps an effort, as the race moves to Florida, to soften the hard line he has staked out on immigration.

In fact, that position has been advocated for years by restrictionist and conservative groups and is central to tough laws passed in Arizona, Alabama and South Carolina, among other states. Mr. Romney’s embrace of a strategy that would induce illegal immigrants to leave voluntarily places him squarely on the side of groups that want to reduce legal immigration and vigorously oppose any plan to give legal status to illegal immigrants, which they reject as amnesty.

The idea arose from a recognition by those groups that no administration was going to conduct mass roundups to deport an estimated 11 million immigrants now living in the United States. Instead, the idea is to make it so difficult for illegal immigrants to live in this country — by denying them work, driver’s licenses and any public benefits and by stepping up enforcement — that they will give up and go home.

“Obviously, you can’t deport your way out of the problem,” said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a leading restrictionist group. “You have to convince people who came on their own to leave on their own.”

"Self-Deportation" is no joke

Quote:
But is it so funny — or new? Why would anyone self-deport?

The answer is in the middle of Romney’s response: You’d self-deport because you don’t have legal documentation allowing you to work here.

 

So the mockable, hilarious and unlikely idea is an enforcement of existing law. It remains illegal to work in America without proper documentation; that we collectively look the other way doesn’t, in fact, make it legal.

 

The extremes don’t make serious arguments about “fixing” immigration. We can’t round up masses of people and send them home, despite Rick Santorum’s suggestion we do that because Mexico is “a great country” and “not Siberia.” We also can’t give blanket amnesty to people who broke the law to get here, unless we want to encourage millions more to do the same.

 

Some paint Romney’s position as far-right because a version of it has been supported by more zealous immigration opponents, but it’s actually a fair compromise. Enforce the laws, secure the border and give those who self-deport a fair track to US citizenship.

 


Comments

KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

The immigration 'debate' in the US is under so many layers of bizarre fantasy- that you almost have to be there to catch the flavour. Not 'understand'.... but just to basicaly grasp which planet you seem to be on.


ygtbk
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Joined: Jul 16 2009

Catchfire wrote:

Quote:
But is it so funny — or new? Why would anyone self-deport?

The answer is in the middle of Romney’s response: You’d self-deport because you don’t have legal documentation allowing you to work here.

So the mockable, hilarious and unlikely idea is an enforcement of existing law. It remains illegal to work in America without proper documentation; that we collectively look the other way doesn’t, in fact, make it legal.

This is fact true under existing American law - the employer is required to verify when hiring that the employee is legally entitled to work in the U.S. So if there are 11 million illegal/undocumented immigrants, and even half of them are working, there's been a heck of a lot of blind-eye-turning.


Mr.Tea
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Joined: Jul 9 2011

Mitt Romney wasn't even able to prevent illegal immigrants from working on his own house...which happened to be the Massachussetts Govern's Mansion at the time! A lot of credibility he has on this issue...


Maysie
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Joined: Apr 21 2005

Quote:

The problems start with economics. Undocumented workers comprise more than 5 percent of America's labor force and much more in agriculture, hospitality, landscaping and elsewhere. Their departure would be a blow to the economy - and no, American-born workers, generally better educated and geographically remote from the jobs immigrants do, would not fill their shoes.

Bold added.

This is the crux of the issue.

I always find it fascinating that undocumented workers, the ones with NO systemic power, arguably among the most marginal of all workers in the US, are the ones blamed for the "problem" of "illegal workers" in the US.

First of all, it's not a problem. The USian economy needs these workers, just as they needed the US-based unpaid slaves of yesteryear, and the current overseas exploited labourers today.

But you can't outsource fruit pickers can you? Or landscapers in Massachusetts? (Thanks Mr Tea!). And Massachusetts is so close to the US/Mexico border, right? *rolleyes*

Second of all, if there were truly NO jobs, or more specifically, if nobody hired undocumented workers, then they would, indeed, go elsewhere. The employers who employ (using that word very broadly) undocumented workers are welcomed and embraced by the capitalist system, and the immigration system. There's no "turning a blind eye" nonsense at all. The borders are as "tight" as ever, yet somehow these marginalized, extremely poor, and poorly resourced folks keep getting in!!

How are they doing it??? And why are they permitted to stay???? Let's make life even more miserable for them, then they'll leave!

Yeah, it's a freaking mystery. And that's without getting deeper into the effects of NAFTA.

P.S. Catchfire, that article from the NY Post is really problematic. Ick.


Bacchus
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Joined: Dec 8 2003

Hey they could have been canadian illegal immigrants in the Governor's mansion. That border IS closer isn't it?Cool

 

This situation was amply demonstrated in South Carolina. They initiated a bumch of anti-immigrant laws and latinos fled the state. Now growers are complaining they cannot get their crops harvested and the state is hurting economically. The Daily Show has a guy going around to unemployment offices to see if he could get the 'real citizens' to do the work.

 

Guess what? NO takers.

 

Hmm that was a surprise wasn't it?


Bacchus
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Joined: Dec 8 2003

Also I think part of this issue is that states that normally would not see large hispanic populations are now seeing them. I see this influz with its corresponding paranoia in Mrs Bacchus' home state of PA all the time.

 

In other words no one thought about it when they were just in CA, TX, AZ or NM but when you see them in the North, then it must be a problem


Mr.Tea
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Joined: Jul 9 2011
Bacchus wrote:

In other words no one thought about it when they were just in CA, TX, AZ or NM but when you see them in the North, then it must be a problem

Actually, I don't agree with that. People in the North (see "Romney, Mitt") also like cheap labour and having people around to do jobs other folks won't. They like being able to pay nannies under the table and avoid taxes and social security, enjoy having their yards look nice for less money, etc. In my wife's home town in Nassau County, New York, there are three sections to town. There's the Persian section (where my wife's from), the old-money WASP section with some of the biggest and most amazing houses overlooking the Atlantic and then a corner of town which consists almost entirely of illegal immigrants piled by the dozens into single houses, all of whom go off each morning to the nicer parts of town to work as nannies, gardeners, etc. They're the people who do a lot of the construction work, pick the food, probably cook it in most restaurants, look after the kids, keep the lawns all nice and they do it for shitty pay with no legal protections. And yet, how many, in these circumstances have "self deported"? It's a pipe dream to think that they will.

Mr.Tea
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Joined: Jul 9 2011

I'll expand on that to add that the Republican candidates know the party base and know how to exploit immigration as a wedge issue. See, a lot of the GOP base are working class white folks who can't afford nannies and gardeners that the GOP establishment like Romney have, and so don't as directly perceive how the benefit from this cheap labour (even though the food they eat still comes from that source). So the Republicans have been very clever in driving a wedge between working class people and pointing to "those illegal immigrants" who are stealing their jobs and using it to gin up anger. The real GOP establishment doesn't really want to stop illegal immigration cause they're the ones who don't want to hire people for a decent wage in the first place. So they win on both counts. Exploit cheap labour to drive up their profits while also attacking the source of that cheap labour to score political points.


Bacchus
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Joined: Dec 8 2003

Im saying its a matter of time. Its a wedge issue because its all over the US now, whereas it was not that noticeable until the late 90s at earliest


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Hispanics have been numerous in "Northern" and eastern states for more than 30 years now. They are and have been rooted there for some time. It has been at least 20 years since most people in the US were not far from a concentration of Hispanics.


Bacchus
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Joined: Dec 8 2003

Yes but now they are in smaller urban areas. The people I talk to dont remember seeing any except really for the last 10 years or so


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Theyve been difussing in noticable numbers to smaller urban centres outside the historic SouthWest starting ponts for more than 30 years. The in-migration numbers to these places steadily increase to the point that Hispanics are dominant in no small number of places like Amsterdam, in the middle of New York state [if I remember the name right]... but this is not new. There are few states I can think of [the relatively remote Maine, Vermont, NH are all that come to mind] where there is not necessarily a visible concentration of Hispanics within a couple hours drive.


Maysie
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Joined: Apr 21 2005

Folks, just to be clear, this isn't about Latinos and where they live in the US. This is about racism (general) and racism (as a political tactic). 

Basically, what Mr Tea said at post #8 is exactly right on. Don't fall for the hype.


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Obama Hails Bipartisan Plan to Overhaul Immigration [NY Times]

Seizing on a groundswell of support for rewriting the nation’s immigration laws, President Obama challenged Congress on Tuesday to act swiftly to put 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States on a clear path to citizenship.

He also praised a bipartisan group of senators, who proposed their own sweeping immigration overhaul a day earlier, saying their plan was very much in line with his own proposals, and suggested there was a “genuine desire to get this done soon.”

Speaking at a high school here, Mr. Obama said, “The good news is that for the first time in many years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together.”

But Mr. Obama warned that “the closer we get, the more emotional this debate is going to become.” He said that if Congress did not act quickly enough on its own legislation, he would send up a bill — something the White House has put off for now.

There were hints in Mr. Obama’s speech of potential fault lines in the debate. He declared, for example, that there must be a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants “from the outset.” That would seem at odds with the assertion by some senators that citizenship must be tied to tighter border security.

Although Mr. Obama did not say it in his speech, the White House is also proposing that the United States treat same-sex couples the same as other families, meaning that people would be able to use their relationship as a basis to obtain a visa.

Mr. Obama offered a familiar list of proposals: tightening security on borders, cracking down on employers who hire undocumented workers and temporarily issuing more visas to clear the huge backlog of people applying for legal status in the country.


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