Children of Illegal Immigrants
POSTED: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 10:28pm
UPDATED: Saturday, August 14, 2010 - 12:17pm
The subject of birthright citizenship is suddenly a hot topic again. And some new statistics are likely to add fuel to that fire. That’s right…for the first time we have some real hard numbers.
The Pew Hispanic Center has done the first complete breakdown of the 2010 census data, and the results give us a clearer picture of the size of the illegal immigrant population .
And how many children are actually being born here.
Right now about 15% of the US population is Latino. A little less than one-third are here illegally.
And that 4% accounts for 8% of the births in the country. That is about 340,000 out of some 14 million babies born each year.
Part of that over representation is accounted for by the general youth of the illegal population and their higher birthrates.
“To provide an incentive for illegal immigrants to come here so that their children can become US citizens, does in fact draw more people to our country,” says Minority Leader John Boehner.
Since 2000, Latinos are responsible for 50% of the population growth in the country.
But unlike the 1990's, that growth has come mainly from natural increases, not illegal border crossings..
The good news is that illegal immigration has slowed, as has the crime rate along the border. But the infrastructure required for these new citizens will put a strain on state budgets all along the border.
But the new birth statistics are more ammunition for critics those who say our policy is too broad.
In short, how we interpret the 14th Amendment to the Constitution?
“In the 1950’s we have a program with Mexico called the Bracero, the first guest worker program,” says Dr. John Eastman, Dean of the Chapman College Law School. “Their children were not deemed citizens here and when the Bracero’s moved back to Mexico, they took their kids with them because nobody understood that they were citizens yet.”
The question for both parties is twofold.
The undocumented population is clearly growing with all that that implies. And one of the things it implies is growing political clout in the future. So how do you balance good policy and good politics?