Immigration: The 'Please Deport Me' Plan Falls Flat on First Day

By Jackie Mahendra ....

In the past few months, both DHS (the Department of Homeland Security) and ICE (Immigration, Customs and Enforcement) have come under fire for the dozens upon dozens of unaccounted-for deaths in immigrant detention. This was followed by outrage over ratcheted-up enforcement operations that have spawned the largest, and perhaps most unjust, workplace raids in US history.

The response?

Instead of making strides to repair an ailing immigration system, or ensuring humane detention conditions for those in DHS custody, ICE has introduced a plan so absurd, even its die-hard fans are stumped.

ICE to immigrants: "Please Deport Yourselves."

In an honor akin to hosting the next Olympics, Chicago was selected to be one of five pilot cities for the "Please Deport Me Plan." "Operation Scheduled Departure," as ICE calls it, targets undocumented immigrants with no criminal record, whom ICE believes might be convinced to deport themselves. Spanish, English, and Polish-language ads will run in ethnic news outlets throughout the city to let undocumented immigrants know about this exciting new option at their fingertips. While today marked the first full day of the new program, (surprise, surprise) not a single immigrant volunteered for deportation.

The incentive to "self-deport"?

The wish to avoid traumatic separation from family, dying in a privately-traded detention facility, or having to give birth shackled, which have become the crowning achievements of our failure to pass humane immigration reform under this administration's watch.

A bad joke?

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.