ICE in the Realm of the Bizarre

Friday, August 01, 2008
George Tzamaras

WASHINGTON, -- The announcement by ICE of a program to "encourage" individuals with final orders of deportation to report for removal is the latest bit of strangeness in the increasing loss of rationality in the way the U.S. deals with immigration. Offering no true inducement to do so, the agency simply asks that people turn themselves in. It is unclear why this even warranted an announcement.

"To encourage the undocumented to turn themselves in, some meaningful incentive must be offered," stated Charles Kuck, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). "We have long advocated a safe, orderly system of identifying who should leave and who should be allowed to stay. That was what last year's efforts at comprehensive immigration reform were all about. Congress failed in those efforts. But, the fact is, no effort at enforcement will be successful until there is a viable means for people who want only to build a better life for their families and fill jobs that go begging in the U.S. to do so. Congress needs to step up and do its job."

The agency cites the weakest of incentives to induce people to come forward: asking that people turn themselves in for definite deportation in order to avoid the possibility that someday they might be detained, and "allowing" them to bring their families with them to in effect deport those U.S. citizens and permanent residents. It is not clear why the agency even bothered to announce such a non-program.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members. For more information call George Tzamaras at 202-507-7649 or Annie Wilson at 202-507-7653

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 08073163.