Romney proposes 'self-deportation' as US immigration solution

- Posted in America by Visa Bureauon 24 January 2012

Mr Romney was asked how he would address illegal US immigration, he said "the answer is self-deportation, which people decide they can do better by going home because they can't find work here because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here."

A similar policy was trialled by the American government in 2008, but was dropped after a few weeks when just eight people had volunteered for the scheme.

This doesn't seem to have discouraged Mr Romney though who went on to say that he would implement a card system in which the government would issue cards linked to online immigration data so an employer can tell whether a potential employee is undocumented or not.

Mr Romney claimed this would mean any immigrants without cards would be unable to secure work and therefore have no other choice but to leave the country.

"If people can't get work here, they're going to self-deport to a place where they can get work" reasoned Mr Romney.

Mr Romney also softened his opposition to President Obama's DREAM Act which grants a US visa to illegal immigrants who graduate from American high schools or serve in the military.

Mr Romney had previously stated he would veto the bill if he were elected but has now claimed he would back the legislation if it focussed on military service.

Mr Romney's comments come in the wake of the presumed favourite for the nomination losing soundly to competitor Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina primary and are unlikely to do his chances of securing the nomination much good as his some of his comments were met with embarrassed laughter.


The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.