by Moses Apsan, Esq.
New York - March 20. This weekend tens of thousands of people from all walks of life are traveling to Washington D.C. to voice their opinion on comprehensive immigration reform. Religious, fraternal, vocational groups, white, black, latinos and orientals all banding together to force congress to fix our broken immigration laws. Yet, even while the country is bleeding with the suffering of these immigrants, anti-immigrant groups have "alternative" solutions for resolving the immigration problem. Many of these groups camouflage themselves in logic, using numbers to prove their point. Yet, in reality it's all a subterfuge for mass deportation and a dislike for people that are different.
Take NumbersUSA.com as an example. They promote a concept they call "Attrition Through Enforcement," which is nothing different than the way bullies treated weaker students in intermediate school. The purpose is to treat illegal immigrants as a non-persons take away their self respect and eventually their ability to earn money to feed their family. As they explain it :
"The principle behind Attrition Through Enforcement is that living illegally in the United States will become more difficult and less satisfying over time when the government – at ALL LEVELS – enforces all of the laws already on the books. The goal is to make it extremely difficult for unauthorized persons to live and work in the United States. 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."
Yet in reality what they are talking about is deporting anyone found illegal in the U.S. Matters not if they are not criminals, but hard working, tax paying families. These enforcement-only proponents believe that it's their duty to get illegal immigrant out of "their" county.
I guess, they are blind to the myriad of studies concluding that immigrants benefits our culture and economy. Just yesterday study was released by the Center for American Progress (CAP) that establishes that the enforcement-only approach these restrictionist groups ad-nauseam advocate isn’t sustainable in the long-term. The study estimates that a strategy aimed at deporting the nation’s population of illegal immigrants would cost the government approximately $285 billion over five years. (A deportation-only policy would amount to $922 in new taxes for “every man, woman, and child in this country).”
It is indisputable that the price tag for a policy of deportation, whether through " Attrition Through Enforcement" as advocated by NumbersUSA.com or by the more aggressive approach of Maricopa Sheriff’ Joe Arpaio of Arizona, who recently deputized 900 officers to search, hunt and deport for illegal immigrants, is prohibitive. Just the mechanics of conducting a "Nazi" type roundup in such a massive scale is implausible at best. It would require an exceptional deployment of limited resources. This in turn would exacerbate current problems plaguing our overcrowded detention system. Immigration courts would be overwhelmed and would likely result in widespread human rights and due process violations. Not to forget the effect a mass deportation strategy would cripple our delicate economic growth.
These groups, such as NumbersUSA.com insist that they do not advocate a policy of mass deportation, but rather what they euphemistically call “attrition through enforcement” strategy. A strategy that is clearly intended to wear down the person through consistent increased deportations, detentions, and anti-immigrant ordinances. These groups believe, that if they can keep the "torture " up long enough , many immigrants will choose to self-deport at minimal cost to the U.S. taxpayer.
This is their fantasy, studies, such as CAP has make it empirically clear that increased enforcement will not push most immigrants back to their home countries, rather it only forces to hide even deeper in ours.
If the U.S. opted for a more limited program of deportation, the cost associated with any such mass deportation program would be astronomical. CAP estimates that it costs about $23,148 for each person deported. In 2008 ICE deported 349,041immigrants. Using CAP's estimate the cost to government was approximately $8,07,068 formats year alone.
Eventually enlightened anti-immigration groups would determine that they do not want undocumented immigrants to leave. In research released in January, UCLA, professor Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda found that if undocumented immigrants were removed from the economy, it would reduce U.S. GDP by $2.6 trillion over ten years. Hinojosa-Ojeda also confirmed that if undocumented immigrants were put on an earned path to legalization as part of a comprehensive immigration reform law, it would result in some additional $1.5 trillion in our gross domestic product over 10 years.
I guess NumbersUSA should go back to elementary school and re-learn their basic math or perhaps, change their name to BlundersUSA.