Going Home

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) – apologists for illegal aliens – today released a report intended to counter the growing evidence that attrition through enforcement works. The report by Alexandra Filindra, a professor of behavioral economics, argues that the illegal aliens have too much at stake here to be willing to pull up stakes and go home. They would prefer to take the chance on the unknown of detention and deportation over the known undesirable choice of going home voluntarily where they face privation.

The argument appears reasonable until it is remembered that there is also an attraction to return home that results from the family and friends and culture left behind. That pull is increased when there are improved prospects of finding gainful employment, as currently is the case in Mexico. Furthermore, just as the tide of illegal immigration to the United States surged from a steady stream to a flood tide, the steady stream of illegal aliens now self deporting is also likely to surge if other states follow the model of states like Arizona and Alabama to deny job opportunities and other accommodation of illegal aliens.

The prospect of more states taking steps to discourage illegal immigration will be influenced by the decision of the Supreme Court on Arizona’s SB 1070. Counterbalancing that trend are the continued efforts of the Obama administration to reassure illegal aliens that they will not be deported and policies adopted by others states which protect and reward illegal aliens. Another important factor is job creation in the United States. If our economy turns around, more illegal aliens are likely to remain, absent meaningful enforcement, and more would be enticed to come.

The new study being released by the IPC is not going to influence the decisions of the illegal aliens. The IPC’s objective, rather, is to try to shore up the resolve of policymakers to enact an amnesty. In order to achieve this objective they must convince lawmakers that the current stream of illegal aliens returning home is unlikely to become a flood.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar


    As you know we are already getting meaningful results from “attrition through enforcement” in states that have taken action. Just wonder what will happen when our Federal Government actually finishes implementing the Real ID Act, and if E-Verify was mandated and required to be used for new and existing employees, and if the US VISIT system actually tracked visitors to make sure they leave when they should (don’t believe US VISIT is truly implemented), and if our borders were really secure (which they are not).

    The IPC knows we really do not have real interior immigration enforecement as yet, and fears it will actually work as we know it will, once we actually have serious interior enforcement.


    Ron Woodard

  2. avatar

    Attrition or self-deportation was a theory that many illegal alien apologists attacked the moment it was revealed. Yet we have examples of laws enacted & enforced where the local illegal alien population did exactly that. No, it was not a flood. However, where it did happen it took place locally only because there was no national effort or policy that would have encouraged such a flood. If the SCOTUS upholds Arizona’s law, the tide will begin. If that happens the Obama administration will take any & every action they think they can get away with, to stem that tide. The pathetic excuse will be “Congress is not working so ‘I’ must act myself”, and he will try to use executive authority. Obama is causing Americans to demand EO be curtailed or eliminated since Obama is abusing its purpose.
    Hopefully, once the Supreme Court agrees with Arizona, the full effect of attrition can take place, long before Obama can try to circumvent the ruling. I actually think Obama might try to issue a conditional EO granting amnesty or conditional amnesty, so that legally the millions would be able to tie everything up in courts for decades, as a means to avoid actual enforcement of our already existing immigration laws. Maybe, just maybe up to three or even four million might leave before Obama interferes!

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    Hey I say bring on this Privation it sound just great, and I don’t care what happens down there. They have brought this on themselves. No one I know wants diversification it leads to crime, and morons on the streets. Just ask anyone who’s not worried about what others think of them, and they’ll tell you. We want what we know, peace, freedom, people, and things we care about not trials, and tribulations.

  4. avatar
    Viet Nam Vet 67-68 on

    Illegal’s returning home is a joke, they are pouring over our OPEN BORDERS and collecting Social Security, TAX, REFUNDS bigger than ours even get back more than they paid in, over burdening our Hospitals, Schools and now we are paying their College Tuition. Good example of this is the law passed by the Treasonous Demo-Communists in Colorado they voted to give Illegals in state tuition a difference of $18,000.00 versus out of statte tuition, we Tax Payers in Colorado are now subsidizing that $18,000.00 difference add that to Social Security Food Stamps State Aid and Housing and whatever the Demo-Communists can think of giving Illegals its costing Billions to keep them secure at the expense of Americans. We need to vote these three Stooges out of office, Udahll, Bennett and Polis.

  5. avatar

    Self-deportation? The more the merrier. Perhaps they can celebrate sinko d Maio in Mexico. I’ll be celebrating sinko d kitchen after lunch ( getting the breakfast dishes cleared).