Those who are opposed to illegal immigration are often rebuked with what some apparently fancy to be a cogent argument. It goes something like this:
This nation was founded by immigrants. We're all descended from immigrants. Why should we deny others the opportunities that our ancestors had?
There are a number of difficulties with this line of reasoning, but to take just one, when our ancestors arrived the people already here were under no financial obligation to provide them with food, housing, education, and medical care. There was no welfare state. Our ancestors had to make their way by dint of their own industry.
In 1868 Congress ratified the 14th amendment which has since been interpreted to mandate that anyone born in the U.S. is ipso facto an American citizen. Given that Americans have obligated themselves to pay for many of their citizens' needs from cradle to grave, this "birthright citizenship" is an enormous incentive for people to emigrate here illegally, just so their children can enjoy the benefits provided by the beleaguered American taxpayer.
George Will, a Washington Post syndicated columnist, believes that we can no longer afford such magnanimity. He notes that:
[M]ore than two-thirds of all births in Los Angeles public hospitals, and more than half of all births in that city, and nearly 10 percent of all births in the nation in recent years, have been to mothers who are here illegally.
All of these children are now citizens entitled to their fair share of "Obama's stash" i.e. our tax dollars. They and their parents are placing an enormous strain on California's fiscal health. Indeed, the costs of illegal immigration are a major reason California teeters on the precipice of bankruptcy.
Will says it's time to end birthright citizenship to people who are here illegally, and that doing so would cool much of the antipathy toward immigration reform. I think he's right. Read his argument at the link. Meanwhile, those who are interested might want to check out our own proposal for immigration reform. If so, go here and scroll down to Addressing Illegal Immigration.RLC