August 15, 2008

National: Self-deportation program draws few illegal immigrants

The Associated Press

Self-deportation program draws few illegal immigrants

TUCSON, Ariz. - Just six illegal immigrants volunteered to leave the United States in the first week of a pilot program inviting nearly a half-million people to self-deport, federal officials said.

The six who signed up by Wednesday evening included an Estonian in Phoenix, a married Indian couple and a Guatemalan in Chicago, a Salvadoran in Charlotte, N.C., and a Mexican in San Diego, said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement program in San Diego.

Program participants get three months to wrap up their personal affairs. It's a less disruptive option than arrest and jailing by immigration agents that track fugitives at homes or workplaces, officials said.

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