Proposal Would Target Illegal Immigrant Babies

Right now anyone born on U.S. soil is a U.S. citizen, but a proposed initiative is seeking to change that.  
Under the plan, people born in the country would be given one of two types of birth certificates -- one for children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants and one for everyone else.

Critics argues that the proposal is reminiscent of Proposition 187, which would have barred illegal immigrants from receiving health and education services. The new initiative would bar the children of illegal immigrants from receiving state and local benefits, including health care and welfare.   
According to the Web site for Taxpayer Revolution, the group sponsoring the initiative, parents would have to show proof of legal residency before receiving their child's birth certificate. Parents who cannot prove citizenship would have to provide identification and other information, which would then be sent to the Department of Homeland Security. Their children would receive a "birth-to-foreign-parents document" instead of a standard birth certificate.

"This is 187 all over again," said Lilia Valesquez, an attorney specializing in immigration. "The federal government has the power to regulate immigration -- the states can't do it."

Valesquez said the new initiative is unconstitutional and, like Prop. 187, is a poor attempt by the state to regulate illegal immigration. She said the proposal won't be a deterrent.

"It assumes people will say, 'I'm not going to come to [the United States] because my child isn't going to get citizenship," Valesquez said. "Maybe a minute percentage of people would want to do that -- the majority of people, they come here to survive."

The initiative's author, Ted Hilton, said not only would it affect the child's benefits, but it would affect the illegal parents, too, who would have to give their personal information to Homeland Security.

"You cannot control illegal immigration strictly at the border," Hilton said. "It [also] has to be done by interior magnets, and that's what we're doing. We're looking at the interior magnets and stopping those from going to these people unlawfully."

The initiative has been endorsed by several former officials, including former state Sen. Bill Morrow, R-Oceanside, and former U.S. Attorney Peter Nunez, reported the North County Times.

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