Can the U.S. reduce its illegal immigrant population by attrition?

A study issued by the Center for Immigration Studies thinks so. “Attrition Through Enforcement: A Cost-Effective Strategy to Shrink the Illegal Population,” estimates that half of the illegal population can be reduced in five years by spending on average $400 million a year, or $2 billion. That comes to annual reductions of 1.5 million persons a year.
Elements of the strategy include using IRS data to track back to illegal workers who file tax returns; much stricter enforcement of work status verification rules (the I-9 form); state and local laws to discourage illegal settlement; tighter border entry-exit record keeping; doubling ICE enforcement resources by $120 million a year; inducing states to pass laws prohibiting the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.
Personal observation: This plan smacks of police-state thinking: opening up of IRS files, coordination of state and local law enforcement, and massive ICE enforcement action. Nonetheless it is worth a cold blooded examination of this along with all other proposals to address the issue of illegal immigrants. I remain strongly in favor of the approach being taken by the Senate Judiciary committee.

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