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Bloggings: "Self - Deportation" vs. "Attrition" - What is the difference? by Roger Algase

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Mitt Romney has given us another example of his tin ear for the concerns of ordinary people, and of his prodigious talent for mispeaking, by suggesting that instead of rounding up unauthorized immigrants and deporting them, we should let them "deport themselves". This, according to Romney, is something that many people will do when they realize that there are no jobs or pathways to legal status available to them.

Romney has come under a storm of criticism for using the phrase "self-deportation". But there is no difference between this idea and "attrition", which restrictionists have been talking about for several years and which is now the official policy of states like Arizona, as stated in the preamble to its draconian, "papers, please", immigration law.

The concept behind "attrition" is that by making life so miserable for "illegal" (translation, "Latino") immigrants, that they can no longer endure staying here, they will leave. This cruel and senseless policy is no solution to America's immigration problem, but will only divide America further along racial lines. 

Therefore, it is amazing that this unrealistic and inhumane policy of persecution is so widely accepted under the rubric of "attrition", but that there is such a storm of protest when it is called by its real name, "self-deportation". It is even more amazing that Romney, who is letting Newt Gingrich run circles around him in the Spanish-speaking media by pretending to offer a path to legal status to a tiny handful of people, is, according to the latest poll, running 15 per cent ahead of Gingrich among Latino voters in Florida. 

Certainly, Newt Gingrich is no friend of minority immigrants. But neither is Mitt Romney. Unfortunately for America's fastest growing ethnic communities, Latinos and Asians, Barack Obama, the Hawaiian-born child of a Kenyan father, and who spent part of his childhood in Indonesia, is no friend of minority immigrants either.

Maybe it is time for leaders in America's minority immigrant communities to start speaking up and taking a stand on an issue which is so important to both immigrants and American citizens in their communities, instead of letting themselves get rolled by politicians who are only too eager to see them "self-deport". If these leaders do not make their voices heard, even if it means forming a third party, they will be "self-excluding" the minorities they claim to speak for from having any influence on immigration policy.

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  1. Queenie's Avatar
    I completely agree. There is so much that we don't know. The egeornmvnt hides so much from us, and right and wrong can become very blurry. Such as conspiracy theories, and all that. Also I was thinking about how immigrants who are exploited and are forced to work for less than minimum wage could be considered the equivalence of modern day slaves. However, they do choose to come to this country, and choose to work for less than this amount. We are controlling the borders, but still letting enough immigrants to come in? What is too much and too little, and what is right and what is wrong. How much wrong do we let slide to achieve what we need to achieve? This has been an issue since we got here, and began killing off Native Americans for their land. As Children we are thought that the Indians helped the pilgrims grow food, hunt. And that they all had turkey dinner together and gave thanks. This story is about as real as Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.
  2. Roger Algase's Avatar
    My above blogging was written almost two months ago. It is even more true now. When Rush Limbaugh and other Republican right wing lunatics started making obscene and outrageous attacks against women, spokespersons for women's rights lost no time in speaking out? How many nanoseconds did it take for Rachel to respond to Rush?

    But the response of leaders in various Latino, Asian and other minority organizations to a racist campaign of hate against immigrants that has been going on for at least the past 20 or 30 years has been divided, confused and unfocused.

    What is the result likely to be? A good guess would be continued progress in achieving America's goal of equality and dignity for women, and continued persecution of minority immigrants and their supporters, who, unlike the supporters of women's rights, are not organizing and uniting to speak out against racism with one voice.
  3. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Correction: There should have been a period after "speaking out" in my previous comment, not a question mark.
  4. jack umbridge's Avatar
    what a lie illegal does not translate to latino it means contrary to law and you're calling the republicans racist. wikipedia is more reliable than this.
  5. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Jack Umbridge misunderstands my comment. I do not make any claim that illegal immigrants are identical to Latinos. I was only pointing out that the purpose of the "attrition" (otherwise known as "self-deportation") policies in Arizona and some other Republican states is not to enforce the law, but to terrorize minority immigrants (and their families) into leaving the state.

    Most of the targeted minorities happen to be Latinos. This is why I called the Republicans racists over the immigration issue. Now that the election is over, a lot of other people are blaming the Republicans for antagonizing Latino and Asian voters with what can only be described as a racist hard line on immigration.

    Most of the people who are blaming the Republicans for this are Republicans themselves. They are worried about whether their party can continue to exist if it only appeals to a coalition of white billionaires and rural Southern, Midwestern and Mountain State white men. And they should be worried.

    However, I do not know if this will get through to the reactionary hard line right wing minority that has taken over the state legislatures and state houses in states such as Michigan with veto proof majorities by the use of gerrymandering.

    Now that these undemocratic, unrepresentative state legislatures can use their power to go after unions and abortion rights, what guarantee is there that we will not see even more racist Arizona and Alabama immigration laws at the state level, even as the Republicans go through the motions of talking about immigration reform at the federal level?

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