“Self-Deportation”: A Policy of Misery

When Mitt Romney suggested “self-deportation” as a kinder, gentler method of immigration enforcement, he failed to acknowledge what this policy would actually mean for undocumented people (and families of mixed documented status) living in the US today: increased fear, increased struggle to meet basic needs, increased alienation from their communities.  Essentially, such a policy relies on making the lives of undocumented people in this country so utterly miserable that they would choose to return to their countries of origin, which are often ravaged by violence and poverty.  In this New York Times opinion article, high school student Antonio Alarcon writes courageously about how U.S. immigration policy has fractured his own family, concluding: “Deportation, and “self-deportation,” will result only in dividing families and driving them into the shadows.”


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