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The United States is in the midst of a major debate over immigrants and their place in our economic and political life. As during other times throughout our history, immigrants are being blamed for causing or contributing to the social, economic and political ills of our society. Politicians from both major parties, at both the national and state levels, are promoting a range of punitive legislative proposals that single out immigrants for adverse treatment by the government. Many of these proposals violate basic civil liberties principles.
Based on “The Bill of Rights”, foreigners do not have the right to enter the United States, but once here, immigrants are entitled to certain broad constitutional protections. In due process, immigrants have the right to be treated fairly. This applies to every person within the United States borders. Equal protection prohibits discrimination based on race or national origin. An alien’s right to free speech and religious freedom are protected. The citizenship clause is just one part of the 14th Amendment, which was ratified after the civil war to deal with civil rights issues when slavery ended. The amendment contains three limitations on state power that greatly expanded the reach of the constitution. States shall not violate citizens’ privileges or immunities or deprive anyone of life, liberty or property without due process of law, and must guarantee equal protections under the law.
When illegal alien mothers give birth in the United States, the child, called an “anchor baby”, receives U.S. citizenship, automatically qualifying for full Medicaid services. Although they have birthright citizenships they have to wait until they are 21 years old to petition for legal residency status for their parents. There are around 4,000,000 anchor babies born each year in the United States. Around 60,000 are born in Texas every year. This is a significant amount for any state. Every year Texas spends about $74 million dollars in…


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