It's a common scene this time of year: streams of overloaded cars, pickups and vans with U.S. license plates crossing into Mexico for the holidays. Most are filled with Hispanic families from Arizona and other states on their way to visit relatives south of the border for a few weeks before heading back to the U.S. But this year, the holiday travelers are being joined by scores of families such as Jorge and Liliana Franco, who are driving to Mexico not to visit but to stay - permanently. ...Pass laws with real penalties for residing in the US illegally, and people will stop residing in the US illegally. It's really that simple. No massive increase in ICE agents needed. No train of buses stretching all across Route 66 required. Just a little legislative action and some targeted employer raids, and the problem is just about whacked.
The number returning to Mexico is difficult to calculate [heh, I wonder why? The best estimates I've seen put the number around 100 per day], but there is no question that many families are leaving, according to Mexican government officials, local community leaders and immigrants
"The situation in Arizona has become very tough," Jorge said minutes after driving into a Mexican immigration and customs checkpoint south of the border on Mexico 15.
Dozens of immigrants are leaving the U.S. daily, and even more are expected to leave once the sanctions law takes effect in January, provided the law survives a last-minute legal challenge, said Rosendo Hernandez, president of the advocacy group Immigrants Without Borders.
During Operation Wetback, for every one illegal forcibly removed, seven or eight left of their own volition. A similar ratio appears to be the rule today.