deportations false choice

The "mass deportations or a massive amnesty" false choice

One of the main talking points of comprehensive immigration reform supporters is a "false choice": they pretend there are only two options when in fact there are others. For just one of the many examples, in his "honest conversation" about immigration, Barack Obama said the following:

"We are not going to send [illegal aliens] home... He said the country would have to devote "all our law enforcement resources to rounding up people without papers, even if they weren't causing any trouble," and once that's done, the country would have to "empty out our jails."

The false choice he's offering is between mass deportations and amnesty. What he failed to mention to his followers is a third choice: attrition. Under that plan we'd simply ramp-up immigration enforcement at the same time as reducing non-emergency public benefits and other incentives to come here illegally. By reducing the numbers of job openings and the amount of benefits to illegal aliens, many would self-deport over time. And, many fewer would try to come here illegally. No mass deportations would be necessary. We wouldn't need to spend all our time and money on enforcement; in fact, several high-profile prosecutions of major companies that employ illegal aliens might be all that's necessary to send a very strong message.

Even the New York Times has acknowledged attrition as an alternative, even if they tried to present it in a bad light. What Obama did and many others have done is worse; they simply engage in a logical fallacy.

Note also that supporters of immigration "reform" usually present increased enforcement as a selling point. If they weren't simply trying to sell a bill of goods, then it wouldn't be difficult for them to support attrition-then-amnesty as a sign of good faith. Yet, they do the opposite, fighting against most forms of immigration enforcement. The reason is clear: they have no real intention of supporting "reform"-mandated enforcement if what they want passes.

Last modified Jun 15, 2009
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