The backbone of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s immigration policy is to make life so miserable for the undocumented that they “self-deport” to their country of origin. As it turns out, however, this “self-deportation” proposal doesn’t exactly have the kind of pedigree key prongs of a presidential candidate’s policy agenda normally have. Rather, it began as a joke by Mexican-American comedians Lalo Alcaraz and Esteban Zul. The idea was first proposed in a 1994 press release from Alcaraz and Zul’s satirical organization supporting California’s former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson:
Hispanics for Wilson (HFW) will support their candidate through various efforts, including:
- the creation of “Self Deportation Centers” which will encourage all Hispanics regardless of citizenship status, especially their elderly relatives, to return to their countries of origin. The whole membership of Hispanics For Wilson promises to voluntarily leave the country when Governor Wilson wins the fall election.
- a pledge to retrain white collar workers and middle management in the agricultural, restaurant and hotel maintenance arts, once illegal immigrants are displaced from these highly sought after fields. . . .
- calling for the immediate deportation of singer Linda Rondstadt for attracting Mexicans to this country with her garbled Spanish yodeling.
- a promise to never utter a word of Spanish, except for “Adios, amigo.” In the case that they don’t know how to speak Spanish, they vow to speed-learn it and then quickly forget it, in the interest of racial harmony.
There’s no word yet whether Romney shares Alcaraz and Zul’s bold anti-Rondstadt stance.