Letters: The joke/not-joke of ‘self-deportation’


A bunch of you wrote in after last night’s segment featuring This American Life, Mitt Romney and “self-deportation.” @JH Hill writes:

I get the satire of HALTO, but although Romney et al may have heard of self-deportation from Daniel D. Portado, I can tell you (from my 20+ years as an immigration court Spanish interpreter) that I have heard the term ‘self-deport’ or ‘self-deportation’ quite a few times. When a person is in immigration court proceedings and the INS or now ICE is trying to deport them (currently called ‘removal’ rather than ‘deportation’), if the immigrant leaves the country without asking for voluntary departure or some other special permission, that person has self-deported, perhaps knowingly, perhaps unknowingly.

And @mtglutton writes:

So confusing – this week’s This American Life is in fact ALL ABOUT self-deportation in Alabama. It is occurring in huge numbers, and with devastating effect.

Why did TRMS treat this solely as a matter of satire, while referencing the very program that aired an expose this week? Self-deportation is real. It is no joke.

This is a distinct product of an emerging, ruthless republican legislative strategy - now being carefully refined in Alabama, soon to be brought to a state near you. It is a topic that needs serious consideration, not a jokey ha-ha fly-over.

The episode of This American Life @mtglutton references is called “Reap What You Sow,” and it’s ready for your ears.

Letters: The joke/not-joke of 'self-deportation'