Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie is the latest Republican candidate to support “self-deportation” for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner published Monday, Christie was asked if he supported “attrition through enforcement.”
“I think that would be the practical effect of it, yes,” Christie said in response to a question about his support for E-verify, a workplace enforcement program.
Self-deportation is a policy that was widely shunned after the 2012 presidential election after Mitt Romney endorsed the policy in the Republican primary and went on to lose Hispanics to President Barack Obama by more than two-to-one.
The idea behind self-deportation is to make laws so strict in the U.S. and so difficult to find work for undocumented immigrants that they voluntarily leave.
Christie’s embrace of the policy is a shift in his position. In April, Christie said he is “not somebody who believes in the concept of self-deportation,” according to CNN.
Christie’s apparent switch comes as the two front-running candidates, Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, support both self-deportation and the forced deportation of those in the U.S. illegally.
Christie does not support forced deportation, saying it won't work.
Christie’s position on immigration has undergone a makeover since he began his quest for the presidency. In December he told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren there should “never (be) a path to citizenship.”
That's a switch from 2010 when he said on ABC’s “This Week,” “The president and the Congress have to step up to the plate, they have to secure our borders and they have to put forward a commonsense path to citizenship for people.”