Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Train They Call the City of New Orleans

Bryan Caplan links to some sobering statistics from DHS. When it comes to deporting people, the US government distinguishes between "removals" and "returns." Removals are compulsory, while returns are voluntary. Caplan notes that "'voluntary returns' are about as voluntary as the payment of taxes." (More here.)

2010387,242 476,405 863,647 New Haven, CT (862,477)
2009395,165 586,164 981,329 Tucson, AZ (980,263)
2008359,795 811,263 1,171,058 New Orleans, LA (1,167,764)
2007319,382 891,390 1,210,772 Hartford, CT (1,212,381)
2006280,974 1,043,381 1,324,355 Maine (1,328,361)
2005246,431 1,096,920 1,343,351 Jacksonville, FL (1,345,596)
2004240,665 1,166,576 1,407,241 Hawaii (1,360,301)
2003211,098 945,294 1,156,392 Buffalo, NY (1,135,509)
2002165,168 1,012,116 1,177,284 Raleigh, NC (1,130,490)
2001189,026 1,349,371 1,538,397 Milwaukee, WI (1,555,908)
2000188,467 1,675,876 1,864,343 West Virginia (1,852,994)
1999183,114 1,574,863 1,757,977 Charlotte, NC (1,758,038)
1998174,813 1,570,127 1,744,940 Indianapolis, IN (1,756,241)
1997114,432 1,440,684 1,555,116 Idaho (1,567,582)
199669,680 1,573,428 1,643,108 Virginia Beach, VA (1,671,683)
I, for one, am amazed at the level of deportations. Maybe I just haven't paid enough attention before now, but the numbers are truly sobering. The number of people we deport every single year is staggering. Caplan reproduces the data going back to 1980; the DHS has data going back to 1892. Here, I've decided to show the last 15 years, plus a state or city (MSA, actually) of comparable size to the number of people deported that year.

Now I'm aware that these people are by definition illegals, and many of them illegal for good reason. At the same time, many are not. Many of these people are business owners who would be employing Americans right now if we hadn't kicked them out of the country. Even those that aren't business owners would be creating jobs by increasing demand.

If there is anyone reading this who believes we really are better for having deported more than 20 million people over the last 15 years, answer me this. Why stop there? If deporting 863,000 people in 2010 was good for our economy and our country, why not also deport the 862,000 in New Haven? If deporting almost a million immigrants creates jobs for Americans, wouldn't deporting almost a million Connecticuters have the same effect?

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