As long as that’s clear

GOP for “self-deportation”? Hell, no! Just “encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily” with threats of arrest. Whew! Had me worried for a moment.

Who says Republicans favor “self-deportation”? Not at all! They just want to “encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily” by arresting those who don’t.

I trust you’ll agree that’s not at all the same thing.

[Is it actually possible to overestimate the gullibility of the voters and the stenography of the press corps? I suppose we’ll find out.]

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

13 thoughts on “As long as that’s clear”

  1. I’m missing the problem. Isn’t this essentially the same way our tax system is “voluntary”?

    1. I’m missing the word “problem” in the post.

      In my vocabulary, “irony” is not identically equal to “problem.”

      And of course, ALL compliance with laws is “voluntary” in the same way: you always have a personal decision (which you might call choice)–obey the law or pay the penalty. We just don’t normally use the word “voluntary” to describe compliance with the law. I never heard any of my neighbors say “well, this year I decided to volunteer to pay my taxes.”

      1. Ken,
        Brett’s half-right; the word “voluntary” is normally used to describe compliance with tax law. But it’s not used in quite the sense that Brett implies. Our tax regime is called “voluntary” because it relies on action by the taxpayer–who in effect, is expected to bill herself for taxes due. That’s what a Form 1040 is about. This “voluntariness” (a very special sense of the word) is mitigated by withholding.

        In one of the small ironies of life, withholding was invented by a Republican, Beardsley Ruml, during WWII. Before WWII, the income tax mostly affected the folk who lived on the top of the hill. The income tax was expanded during the war, to include ordinary working stiffs. Ruml pointed out that said working stiffs would have problems computing and paying their taxes at the end of the year, a problem addressable by continuous withholding. Imagine that! A Republican who believes that wars must be paid for!

        1. No, I agree that using “voluntary” to describe self-deportation caused by enforcement is a misuse of the word, I’m just pointing out it’s not a novel misuse.

          Frankly, I don’t see the problem with involuntary “other” deportations of those here illegally.

  2. I don’t agree that that’s not the same thing. All the “self” in self-deportation means is that the government won’t have to go to the trouble to load all of the illegal aliens in a van and ship them across the border, which would be accomplished if illegal aliens left on their own, for whatever reason. What did you think it meant?

  3. Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres.

  4. So Mr. Kleiman, are you going to post anything about your new gig as WA’s MJ czar?

    I was gobsmacked when I heard on the radio that you (well, your company, of which I was previously unaware) had been selected to be WA’s “official marijuana consultant”.

  5. They just want to “encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily” by arresting those who don’t.

    And they want create a path to citizenship by setting the time required to become a citizen to ‘forever’ and they want to protect American workers and foster integration by immigrants by making all those new immigrants guest workers who can never become citizens and will work for pennies, and they want to make Hispanics less made at them by blocking the appointment of Hispanic people to administration positions and they want to make Hispanics Republican voters by making sure brown people can’t vote.

    That is to say they’re committed to ‘immigration reform’, which looks a almost exactly like the system we have now but more sadistic and vile.

    I believe we’re supposed to bolster their self-esteem by praising them for trying so very very hard.

    [‘We could make a little medal: ‘I pretended to be in favor of immigration reform, what the hell else do you want?!”]

    1. “And they want create a path to citizenship by setting the time required to become a citizen to ‘forever’”

      What they WANT is for the path to citizenship to be reserved for people who haven’t already demonstrated their contempt for our laws by being here illegally. With which I am in full agreement. You want to be a citizen here? Don’t immigrate illegally. Already did? It’s a big planet, find someplace else.

        1. There is something of a case for the limited circumstance of people who entered the country as young minors under the control of their parents, stayed here until adulthood, and know no other life but in the US. Perhaps something could be worked out for them, NOT involving taking all the pertinent details on faith, or using abusive definitions of “minor”.

          But these people are not most of the problem.

  6. It’s not just arresting those who don’t leave voluntarily, it’s also denying them medical treatment at hospitals and clinics, denying a public education to the american citizens who happen to be their children, effectively immunizing anyone who commits crimes against them, and a few other things I’ve missed.

    Oh, and arresting and “deporting”, and otherwise harassing, any number of US citizens and legal residents or visitors who might happen to have the wrong skin or hair color and be unable to produce “acceptable” documentation on 15 seconds’ notice. I guess the idea is that the undocumented ones will be so overcome with sympathy for their brethren that they will leave in droves, trusting that once illegal immigration is no longer a problem any policies that disadvantage certain lawful residents and visitors will be rescinded immediately.

    1. As far as I can tell, the only people immunized right now are the illegal aliens themselves.

      I would not deny illegal aliens medical treatment. By all means, any illegal alien in need of medical treatment should be stabilized, and deported directly to a Mexican hospital.

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