A new report refutes claims that tough immigration laws in certain states cause immigrants to leave the United States and return home. Those who are in the country illegally, whether in California or elsewhere, tend not to head home even when harsh laws are passed, instead choosing to either move where the laws are friendlier or even stay where they are in spite of them.

But a Midwestern secretary of state disagrees, noting that Mexican lawmakers have shown concern about illegal immigrants returning home without work, after the enactment of harsh anti-immigration laws in some states that require immigration status checks for anyone seeking employment. Nevertheless, he agreed with portions of the report stating that immigrants may sometimes relocate to states with less stringent laws.

The author of the report, a student at the University of California-San Diego, says that increased border security and a poor economy has prompted a decrease in the number of immigrants coming into the United States, but notes that people who are already in the country end up staying here due to the high costs of returning home.

The report also addressed immigrants in relation to violent crimes. A police officer in another state stated that he believed the harsh laws passed targeting illegal immigration make it more difficult to track crime because immigrants are afraid to report when crimes are committed, possibly fearing deportation.

Undocumented immigrants in San Diego and throughout California face constant fear of deportation or removal. However, numerous organizations exist to assist individuals and families who are dealing with immigration or citizenship issues, and those confronting these issues may benefit from consulting with someone who is familiar with the relevant law and procedures.

Source: Cronkite News, “Report: Tough laws don’t make illegal immigrants ‘self-deport’,” Dustin Volz, Feb. 22, 2012