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70% of babies at SJ General born to illegals?
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Should those children who are born here to parents illegally in the United States have birthright to American citizenship?

Current law says they do but there is a move afoot to change that.

It is being led by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, R- South Carolina, and Arizona state Sen. Russell Pierce who was the primary architect of Arizona’s controversial immigration law.

That question has major ramifications for what may soon become the next stage for the immigration debate.

Changing the law would have major ramifications for California including the San Joaquin Valley. It would also serve as a lightning rod to intensity the immigration debate.

The reason is simple. It offers a way of measuring the impact of illegal immigrants on the social services of this country.

The Federation for Immigration Reform has estimated there are between 287,000 and 360,000 children born every year in the United States to illegal immigrants. Even if the numbers are half that, it represents a big hit on struggling states and counties trying to keep the safety net from developing a massive hole by being overburdened.

As so-called “anchor babies” they gain access to benefits paid for by taxpayers such as Medicaid and SSI as well as welfare, food stamps, and of course public education. That doesn’t count the cost of giving birth to the anchor babies in a hospital. This isn’t a small deal. Back when Pete Wilson was governor he used the fact a Los Angeles County hospital was literally left holding the bag for millions of dollars worth of birth-related costs for illegals to help set the stage for passage of Proposition 187 by California voters in 1994 to deny public benefits to illegal aliens in the Golden State. The courts ended up overturning Prop. 187.

At a conservative estimate of $6,000 per year for such benefits, that would come to $2.26 billion if there were indeed 363,000 children born each year in this country to illegal immigrants. To top it off, such babies have the right when they turn 21 to petition the federal government to bring their immediate family and other relatives to this country.

You say this isn’t really a local issue. Guess again. According to statistics gleaned by Dr. Madeleine Cosman, who specializes in medical law, some 1,610 of the 2,300 babies born in San Joaquin County General Hospital in French Camp in 2003 had parents who were illegal immigrants. That is 7 out of every 10 births in the county hospital.

That is a $10.6 million annual hit on local social services from one year of babies born to  illegal immigrants in San Joaquin County hospital excluding the cost of the hospital stay for the birthing process.

The study those stats are contained in is just over five years old. One can imagine what the numbers would be like today.

Supporters of “anchor babies” argue the 14th Amendment adopted in 1868 that reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” gives them legitimacy.

It was added to the constitution to ensure that former slaves would have the full rights of citizenship. And just like the Civil Rights Act of 1965, it has been hijacked to benefit “just arrived” immigrants - who do not have a history of injustice on American soil - so they can move to the front of the line, so to speak. Again, it is at the detriment of long suffering minorities with a multi-generational presence in this country.

This country needs immigrants. What it doesn’t need are people who enter the United States on their own terms. Instead of being punished, they take advantage of the opportunity to have children here to reap the benefits of having an “anchor” baby.