A few months ago, I wrote a column about how many Pakistani illegal immigrants just up and left the U.S. in response to stricter enforcement. We didn’t have to deport every Pakistani illegal, just send the signal we were taking immigration law seriously again:
“The Immigration and Naturalization Service estimated that there were 26,000 Pakistani illegals in the United States as of 2000. The Pakistani Embassy now says that more than 15,000 Pakistani illegals have left the country since Sept. 11. Even if the original INS estimate was low, this represents a sizable proportion of the illegal Pakistani community engaging in do-it-yourself deportation.
“The New York Times recently reported that roughly half of a sizable Pakistani community in Brooklyn has left, either for Canada or home, as a result of the stricter enforcement. The departures make sense, since immigrants are people who will respond as rationally as anyone else to incentives.”
I’d be shocked if the same dynamic wouldn’t work with Mexican illegals, but we’re not even going to try.