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Why is this result no surprise?

Hold onto your hats and sit down. You are about to hear earth shattering news: ICE’s Operation Scheduled Departure is being called off for lack of interest. …

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Please explain why this is such a surprise; perhaps we’ve missed
something? Perhaps, just perhaps, individuals who have nothing to
return to in their home countries, whose U.S. salary, no matter how
meager, is supporting entire families back home, are not going to just
up and leave because ICE wants them to depart.

The American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA) correctly summarized the situation as follows:  

After spending over $40,000 just on advertising the program, ICE
announced that a grand total of eight people responded in the five
cities in which the "Operation" was conducted. Why is this result no
surprise? Because no incentive was provided that would have made this
program more attractive than just leaving on one's own.

"To call the effort half-hearted would give ICE half a heart too much
credit," said Charles Kuck, President of the American Immigration
Lawyers Association (AILA). "It was never anything more than a public
relations ploy so that ICE could say in the end 'gosh, we tried, but no
one turned up, now we can go back to doing enforcement our way,' which
is precisely what they are now saying. It was never a serious effort."

"Had the government applied the resources and attention it gave to this so-called operation to improving their detention conditions, enhancing alternative detention options, or beefing up the immigration court system, some small progress to a workable system might have been made," said Kuck. "Instead, ICE is concentrating on PR ploys in order to justify the heavy-handed tactics that have marked its more recent operations."

Let it not be said, as ICE officials have, that AILA does not want the
immigration laws enforced. In fact, nothing could be further from the
truth. Our immigration laws must be enforced; anything else is a
mockery of our system. But, that enforcement must come with forethought
and a respect for not only the constitutional rights, but the basic
human rights of all individuals. Hauling non-criminal "fugitives" out
of their houses in their underwear at 6:00 a.m., in front of their
crying children, in order to hold them for 8 weeks in detention before
actually deporting them, is not an effective or humane enforcement of
the civil immigration laws.

Ultimately, the problem remains that the U.S. has a severely broken
immigration system. AILA calls upon Congress and the Administration to
formulate meaningful reform that provides a safe, orderly and rational
means to obtain legal status and thus a focused prism for keeping out
and removing those individuals who should be removed from the United
States.

Amen! Hold onto your hats and sit down. You are about to hear earth
shattering news: ICE’s Operation Scheduled Departure is being called
off for lack of interest.  Why? To ICE’s great surprise individuals who
are illegally present in the U.S. and have been subject to a final
order of deportation do not want to leave the U.S. and will not leave
until they are forcibly removed from the U.S.

Please explain why this is such a surprise; perhaps we’ve missed
something? Perhaps, just perhaps, individuals who have nothing to
return to in their home countries, whose U.S. salary, no matter how
meager, is supporting entire families back home, are not going to just
up and leave because ICE wants them to depart.

The American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA) correctly summarized the situation as follows:  

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After spending over $40,000 just on advertising the program, ICE
announced that a grand total of eight people responded in the five
cities in which the "Operation" was conducted. Why is this result no
surprise? Because no incentive was provided that would have made this
program more attractive than just leaving on one's own.

"To call the effort half-hearted would give ICE half a heart too much
credit," said Charles Kuck, President of the American Immigration
Lawyers Association (AILA). "It was never anything more than a public
relations ploy so that ICE could say in the end 'gosh, we tried, but no
one turned up, now we can go back to doing enforcement our way,' which
is precisely what they are now saying. It was never a serious effort."

"Had the government applied the resources and attention it gave to this
so-called operation to improving their detention conditions, enhancing
alternative detention options, or beefing up the immigration court
system, some small progress to a workable system might have been made,"
said Kuck. "Instead, ICE is concentrating on PR ploys in order to
justify the heavy-handed tactics that have marked its more recent
operations."

Let it not be said, as ICE officials have, that AILA does not want the
immigration laws enforced. In fact, nothing could be further from the
truth. Our immigration laws must be enforced; anything else is a
mockery of our system. But, that enforcement must come with forethought
and a respect for not only the constitutional rights, but the basic
human rights of all individuals. Hauling non-criminal "fugitives" out
of their houses in their underwear at 6:00 a.m., in front of their
crying children, in order to hold them for 8 weeks in detention before
actually deporting them, is not an effective or humane enforcement of
the civil immigration laws.

Ultimately, the problem remains that the U.S. has a severely broken
immigration system. AILA calls upon Congress and the Administration to
formulate meaningful reform that provides a safe, orderly and rational
means to obtain legal status and thus a focused prism for keeping out
and removing those individuals who should be removed from the United
States.

Amen!

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