Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ICE announces a new program for "illegal immigrants": the opportunity to turn themselves in to ICE and "self-deport":

Rather than risk getting caught, turn yourselves in.

That's the latest government strategy in its ongoing effort to dramatically reduce the nation's ballooning population of illegal immigrants.

Scheduled to be unveiled next week, it was announced Sunday by Julie Myers, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in an interview with a Spanish-language television network.

Myers told the network that "Operation Scheduled Departure" will allow illegal immigrants without criminal records a chance to literally "self-deport" by turning themselves in to her agents.

She said the idea derived from a common complaint voiced by immigrant detainees: If given the opportunity, they'd rather just go home than be holed up in immigration prisons.

Under the new program, those still walking free will have the chance to walk into ICE offices, be processed and get a few weeks to arrange their affairs, pack their belongings and ship out of the country without being detained.

Some are doubtful about the effectiveness of this program and think that there isn't enough of an incentive for these "undocumented" to declare themselves. Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, thinks that one possible "carrot" could be allowing those who voluntarily leave to have the opportunity to re-apply for a legal visa once they arrive back in their home countries.