Attrition Through Enforcement Immigration Policy Works in Alabama

Proponents of illegal immigration and open borders are constantly propagating a straw-man argument for amnesty that offers false policy choices.  They contend that “we cannot possibly send back the illegals without physically deporting every one of them, and therefore, we are forced to grant them amnesty, in addition to a ‘pathway to citizenship.’  Those with some sense of sanity have always realized that the source of the problem is our incentivizing of illegal behavior, and that a concerted effort to enforce the laws would drain the illegal population through “attrition by enforcement.”


Now Alabama is showing the rest of the country how we can solve the problem simply by enforcing the laws on the books, or, more accurately, performing the job that the federal government refuses to do.

Last Wednesday, federal district court Judge Sharon Blackburn refused the Obama administration’s request to issue an injunction on the major provisions of Alabama’s new immigration law (H.B. 56).  Consequently, state and local police are authorized to check the immigration status of those already apprehended for breaking a law or those caught driving without a license.  In addition to upholding the “Arizona SB 1070 provision,” Judge Blackburn upheld the provision which requires every public school in Alabama to determine if an enrolling student was born outside the United States or is a child of an illegal alien.

Well, it didn’t take long for the illegals to do the jobs that the Feds refuse to do; namely, self-deportation.  Fox News is reporting that many illegals are getting the message that it is a new day for the rule of law in Alabama:

Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration.

Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children from classes or kept them home this week, afraid that sending the kids to school would draw attention from authorities.

There are no precise statewide numbers. But several districts with large immigrant enrollments — from small towns to large urban districts — reported a sudden exodus of children of Hispanic parents, some of whom told officials they planned to leave the state to avoid trouble with the law, which requires schools to check students’ immigration status. (emphasis added)


Yes – indeed people vote with their feet.  They did the same thing in Arizona.  Even though SB 1070 was never implemented, roughly 100,000 illegals left the state.  The bottom line is that when they are not collecting $4.2 billion in refundable tax handouts, receiving some form of welfare on behalf of their American-born children, or obtaining employment, they will leave.

In that sense, even Obama has demonstrated attrition through the removal of incentives.  He has perpetuated joblessness and stagnation, engendering a sharp decline in illegal migration (CRS report p.3).  Not surprisingly, Texas, which has experienced an economic boom, is the only state with a growing population of illegals.  200,000 more illegals have invaded the Lone Star State from 2007-2009.  Now, if only we could actually remove the magnet without destroying our economy, we would solve the illegal problem without mass deportation or amnesty – or even worse, a pathway to citizenship.  In other words, treating illegals as illegal actually works.


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