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Even if they ask nicely, ICE won’t likely find many voluntary deportees

August 19, 2008
TIMES-REPUBLICAN EDITORIAL BOARD

Federal immigrations officials, unable to even slow the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States, have come up with one of the most ridiculous ideas ever to originate in Washington, D.C. - and that's saying a lot.

Judge for yourself: The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is asking people in the United States illegally to turn themselves in, in order to be deported. We told you it was absurd.

ICE officials are not targeting all illegal immigrants - there may be as many as 12 million of them - but are hoping to interest a select few. Those eligible for the ICE program are the 457,000 illegals who have been caught once, and ordered by a judge to leave the country - but have failed to do so. In other words, ICE officials think that people who have refused to obey a court order to leave the United States in the past will volunteer now to do so on their own.

ICE officials seem to think they are offering the illegals a good deal. In exchange for going to the agency and volunteering to be deported, illegal immigrants are relieved of any possibility that their homes could be raided. They also are given three months to get their affairs in order.

The program is to be in effect through Aug. 22. By the end of its first day, last week, just one person in Phoenix had taken ICE up on its offer.

We suspect that many of the illegal immigrants targeted by ICE are getting at least something out of the program: a good laugh.

But we won't be surprised if many law-abiding Americans don't see anything humorous in it.

 
 

 

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