As soon as Mitt Romney’s theory regarding the viability of self-deportation began spreading through the media post debate, undocumented Hispanic workers from every state in the union began contacting Romney campaign offices requesting information on what, exactly, the process entailed. Requests for forms and paperwork overwhelmed campaign phone lines and staffers were met, uniformly, with great disappointment when they informed callers that no such self-deportation program actually existed, but was only a trial balloon of the Romney campaign platform.
One immigrant, who would only give the name “Juan,” stood, outraged, on the steps of Romney’s campaign office and had this to say:
“We’ve been toyed with. Romney dangled self-deportation in front of us and naturally we got all excited. Because OF COURSE we’re looking for a way to go back to the country we left for a better life here. Why wouldn’t we be? Forget the effort we made to get here, forget the obstacles we overcame, the poverty and strife we fled; forget the lives we’ve built here, the families we’ve raised, the contributions we’ve made to American society…how does any of that compare to the opportunity to self-deport? What do we want?: SELF-DEPORTATION! When do we want it? NOW!”
As “Juan” continued hollering, the surging crowd of immigrants surrounded him, chanting wildly in response. It was chaos. The Romney staff locked the doors.
All of which sparked some inspired thought in a few legal scholars paying attention. If undocumented workers could get so worked up about the possibility of self-deportation, what were the odds felons might likewise respond to the idea of self-imprisonment? Think of the lives saved on the street, the money saved by law enforcement departments, the unburdening of police to do something besides chase criminals! Between self-deportation and self-imprisonment, society could enter a golden era of self-correction, freed from the cat-and-mouse paradigm of crime and punishment.
With that in mind, these scholars rounded up a few felons willing to talk and put the question to them: “If you had the chance to self-imprison, would you?” One felon in the group, who would only give the name “Hawk,” spoke fairly candidly on the topic:
“Hells yeah! It’s hard out here for a perp. Tough to be lookin’ over your shoulder all the damn time. Sometimes you wanna just hang it up but you gotta hold on to your street cred. So you keep breakin’ the law and duckin’ from the cops and that kinda stress can kill ya! So yeah, if I could get my own ass to a prison without all the cops in my face, I’d be all over it. Where do I sign up?”
Intriguing ideas. Though distinctions are made between “certainly some decent people who entered this country illegally” and hard-core felons, as one person involved put it: “Breaking the law is breaking the law.” Think tanks and Romney campaign operatives are now knee-deep in studies of the “self–“ concept, with the intent of fine-tuning the process in time for a presumed Romney presidency. The hope is that between felons who’ll personally transport themselves to prison, and “illegal immigrants” who – reacting to the concerted effort by the Romney administration to make life in America so intolerable they’ll want to leave – will self-deport themselves right back to whence they came, both general crime and the illegal immigration problem will be solved with no hands-on involvement from either government or law enforcement, boosting the economy by removing tax-payer funds from the equation. Win win.
UPDATE: The above article is a parody.