The self deportation debate

CBS News:
As Republican voters in Arizona head to the polls today to decide who should be the party's nominee for president, candidates have been talking tough on immigration.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said he thinks the Grand Canyon state's controversial immigration law should be something for the rest of the country to embrace.
"I think you see a model in Arizona," Romney said at the CNN sponsored debate last week in Mesa, Arizona, near Phoenix.
Arizona in 2010 passed a law giving police broad new powers to crack down on illegal immigrants, though the more controversial aspects of the law have been held up by court challenges. Supporters of the law say that by making life difficult for illegal immigrants who have already entered the country, they will choose to leave rather than to stay amid constant fear of getting caught.
The concept is known as "self-deportation," though deportation by definition is involuntary. Advocates of the idea call it "attrition through enforcement."
Romney likes the idea and said so in an earlier debate.
"We're not going to round people up," Romney said in late January. "The answer is self-deportation."
For Romney, it is unrealistic to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, but for them to leave on their own is more likely.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich attacked Romney over the idea that "grandmothers" would self-deport
One of the leading men behind Romney's plan of attrition through enforcement is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The former law professor who served in the Bush administration at the Justice Department under John Ashcroft is one of the key authors of the Arizona law and a similar measure in Alabama.
Kobach, who has endorsed Romney and serves as an informal adviser to the candidate, said "the idea is not rocket science."
"If you enforce the law more forcefully," Kobach told Hotsheet, "illegal aliens make the rational decision to return to their home country."
Kobach wants the U.S. to take the same approach as Arizona and Alabama.
"Arizona has become a model at what the U.S. should be doing at the federal level," Kobach said in a telephone interview, and he thinks Romney is the man to do it.
There are several examples of self deportation that the story ignores.  In states where tough illegal immigrant control laws are passed they have seen a exit of illegals.  That was happening in Arizona until Obama brought suit to halt enforcement of the law.  Self deportation has been seen in states like Oklahoma and Alabama too.  It has been seen on a more local basis when ICE was allowed to make work place arrest.

And, Gingrich is wrong about grandma too.  When Hispanic families leave, they usually take their extended families with them.  They are not going to leave grandma behind.

If you enforce laws in a fair and consistent way you have fewer violations of the law.  That is how crime was reduced in places like New York City.  The same concept will work for illegal immigration if Obama would just let ICE do its job and let the states help them by applying more force to space.


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