Politics & Media
Aug 20, 2008, 10:57AM

"Voluntary Deportation" A Smokescreen For Harsher Tactics

Earlier this month U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE so that they pretend they're in an action moive, started a voluntary deportation program. The idea is that undocumented residents will take a cushy flight home instead of waiting to get caught by tough law enforcement. It seems like no immigrant would be dumb enough to actually do this, but that's beside the point. By offering this voluntary program, ICE gains thin justification for home raids that tear apart families and take away workers.

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The ICE eagle wants to break up families in the middle of the night. Photo by D.C.Atty

Last Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement began a new pilot program that allows immigrants without proper documentation to leave the country voluntarily, without being charged with a crime. Officials won't ask any questions, and will even cover the plane ticket back to the country of origin.

The program was implemented in order to… well, that's part of the problem. The goals and reasoning behind this operation haven't been made clear. Why would we choose not only to allow illegal immigrants to leave the country without legal consequences, but actually pay for their plane ticket? How could this possibly be beneficial to the United States?

The answer is simple: public relations. This country's customs enforcers' notorious deeds have been getting a lot of bad press. This is just an attempt to humanize the methods and strategies that ICE and other U.S. custom services use.

Any program that involves removing people from this country will just waste time, energy and most importantly, tax payer money.This obsession with money and papers has to stop. Lack of papers is not a reason to break up families and ruin lives. We're people, not dogs; we don't need pedigrees to prove our worth.

  • Great piece that highlights one of the most stupid decisions of the Bush administration. Remember, this was the guy who wanted immigration reform. Typically, he's caved into the right-wing nuts who want to get rid of immigrants any way possible. I work and know a lot of immigrants, legal and illegal, in L.A, and this idea, at least to those who know about it, is seen as a joke. And a callous one at that. I wish Obama would speak out more about this issue; McCain's already flip-flopped on it to Natavist/Lou Dobbs loonies.

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