In a piece last year
, I expressed some skepticism over the strategic decision by the Center for Immigration Studies and other restrictionist organizations to start pushing for the â€?attritionâ€? strategy
as a third way between mass deportations and amnesty. The argument I would have made is that if laws against employers and other aspects of the â€?attrition through enforcementâ€?
were enacted, mass deportations would not be necessary
. Krikorian and others either implied or explicitly acknowledged that mass deportations were somehow immoral and/or impractical
My concern was that by readily conceding this rhetorical ground, it would allow the open borders crowd to just move the argument to the Left. Sure enough, last week the NY Times
had a long editorial aimed at the â€?attritionâ€? solution. So instead of using the mass deportation straw man, they readily acknowledge
There is no way to round them up and move them out all at once. Not even the most eagerly anti-immigration candidate would dare talk about detention camps.[One Argument, 12 Million Holes January 18, 2008]
But is the attrition strategy given any more water? Of course not. They call Numbers USA â€?nativistsâ€?
for promoting the plan, and characterize it as if it would require the Gestapo to enforce.
It would mean constant ID checks for everyone—citizens, too—with immigration police at the federal, state and local levels. It would mean enlisting bureaucrats and snoops to keep an eye on landlords, renters, laborers, loiterers and everyone who uses government services or gets sick.
They certainly do not find the wording to be any friendlier.
Even if you accept the Republicansâ€™ view of immigration policy as warfare against illegal immigrants, their tactics are the rejects of history, starting with that Vietnam-evoking â€?attrition.â€?
The media is now distorting and smearing attrition and its proponents the same way they did to the imaginary proponents of mass deportations. Essentially, insisting that we do not favor mass deportations has achieved nothingÂ but giving the Left more of an opportunity to characterize all our policies as extreme.