The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been interpreted in a manner that confers American citizenship upon virtually all who are born within geographical boundaries of the United States, regardless of the parent's legal status, whether lawful or otherwise. This form of automatic citizenship, in combination with the ease at which American borders are continuously violated, encourages literally millions of foreign nationals to enter and remain in the United States unlawfully, thereby fostering significant economic, health, and law enforcement issues. The interplay among the incentives for illegal immigration and the natural consequences that follow is complex and extremely expensive to the taxpaying American public. This article addresses these critical national issues and focuses on the moral, economic, medical and legal implications of continuing the practices that promote illegal immigration while it summarizes the difficulties illegal immigration presents to business managers who must ultimately find the means to comply with the requirements of employment laws.
It is estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 children are born each year in the United States to families with at least one parent residing in this country illegally.1 There were approximately 350,000 births to illegal immigrants in 2010, accounting for 8% of all births in the United States and this was statistically unchanged from the estimated 340,000 per year in 2008 and 2009.2 The total U.S. population of these children born to illegal immigrant parents increased from 2.3 million in 2003 to 4 million by 2008, not including those over age 1 8 or those who had married.3 The actual number is larger. By what many believe to be an errant interpretation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, each and every one of these children born to illegal immigrants are deemed to be U.S. citizens by virtue of nothing more than their presence, even temporarily, on American soil at the moment of birth.4 Whether the parents enter the United States legally or illegally, there is no difference. Birthright citizenship applies uniformly to all who by chance or design are born within U.S. borders.
According to various sources, the illegal population in the U.S. was estimated at approximately 1 1 million in 20 1 0,5 and had grown by 27% between 2000 and 20 1 0.6 In recent years, estimates have ranged from as few 7 million to as many at 20 million7 with 57% from Mexico, 24% from other Latin American countries, 9% from Asia, 6% from Europe and Canada, and 4% from the rest of the world.8 A breakdown by state shows that more than half of the illegal population is concentrated in just four southern border states: almost 2.6 million reside in California, nearly 1 .8 million in Texas, approximately 760,000 in Florida, and 500,000 in Arizona. Another 5 million or more are scattered throughout the remaining states with substantial concentrations in Illinois, New York, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina and Nevada.9
The Government Accountability Office reports that, "the population of undocumented foreign persons is large and has increased rapidly."10 61% of unauthorized immigrants arrived in the United States prior to 2004, 30% arrived from 2004 to 2007, and 9% arrived between 2008 and 2010 during recessionary years." If current estimates of illegal population are correct at 1 1 million, this means that 39%, or approximately 4.3 million illegal aliens, entered and remained in the U.S. from 2004 to 2010, an average of some 614,000 per year. The U.S. Department of Home Security reports average deportations of only 239,301 per year during the same period,12 which translates to an approximate total of 853,000 people who entered the U.S. illegally during that period while only 28% were forcibly repatriated to their home country. And with this continued expansion of illegal population there is a corresponding growth in the number of births to illegal aliens, each of which are instantly deemed U. …