December 23, 2007

Self-Deportation A Reality

While Congress tried to offer more and more legislation for immigration reform, a number of people wondered why the government didn't try harder to enforce the laws already on the books. Many suggested that employer enforcement would remove the incentives for illegal immigration and illegals would just return home. Reuters now reports that those predictions have proven accurate already (via Power Line):

The couple are among a growing number of illegal immigrants across the United States who are starting to pack their bags and move on as a crackdown on undocumented immigrants widens and the U.S. economy slows, turning a traditional Christmas trek home into a one-way trip. ...

The toughening environment has been coupled with a turndown in the U.S. economy, which has tipped the balance toward self deportation for many illegal immigrants left struggling to find work.

Remember the concern over anchor babies, those children born in the US who have American citizenship despite the illegal status of their parents? It turns out that no one wants to split families. The Mexican government reports a "spike" in requests for Mexican citizenship for children born in the US, so that they can attend Mexican schools instead. Requests to bring household items duty-free across the border have also increased, indicating that those returning have little desire to cross back into the US.

As it turns out, the declining dollar has provided even more incentive for the illegals to self-deport. The value of the money they sent back home has dropped, and combined with the perceived economic stagnation here in the US and the much tougher enforcement environment, the risk outweighs the potential gain. The economy grew at an annual rate of 4.9% in the last quarter, but perceptions in this case is reality.

Some have just decided to move elsewhere in the US from hostile states like Arizona. Reuters suggests that some may even come to Minnesota. If they come this week, they won't stay long; we're already having the coldest winter in at least 10 years. They may try California instead, just in time to see government go bankrupt and precipitate another push to shut illegals out from public services.

Tough enforcement of existing law can solve much of the problem; as long as we secure the border, we can then focus on a much smaller problem.


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