Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy
NFAP: Birthright Citizenship Proposal Would Result in "Tax" of $1600 for Every Baby Born in the US
A great new report authored by noted immigration lawyer Margaret Stock makes the case that actual implentation of a birthright citizenship law would create a massive new bureaucracy and result in astronomical costs for American citizens. From NFAP:
Based on current costs to verify the citizenship status of children born overseas to U.S. citizens, changing the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment will cost new parents in the United States approximately $600 in government fees to prove the citizenship status of each baby and likely an additional $600 to $1,000 in legal fees. This represents a "tax" of $1,200 to $1,600 on each baby born in the United States, while at the same time doing little to deter illegal entry to the United States. Direct fees to the federal government would reach $2.4 billion a year, based on current estimates.
The report outlines a number of additional consequences.
1. Creating a two-tier American caste system that will result in a significant decrease
in the population of younger U.S. citizens. An estimated 4.7 to 13.5 million Americans would lose their citizenship by 2050, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
2. Increase the size of the shadow economy in the US.
3. Reducing the country's tax base, including contributions to Social Security
4. Reducing the military recruiting base.
5. Creation of a large new bureaucracy to administer documenting entitlement to citizenship.
6. Realistically, the only way to document citizenship will be through a national identification card, something that birthright citizenship advocates should justify.
I've said in the past that given the dramatic changes that would be required to the Constitution as well as to public policy and the incredibly expensive cost of such a system, advocates of birthright citizenship should have the burden of proving to the public that there has been a significant change occurring in the country that justifies such a move. Prove that there has been a significant increase in the number of children born to unauthorized parents over the last few decades. Prove that birth tourists, the subject of periodic anecdotal media reports, represent more than a very tiny percentage of births in this country. Prove that the massive costs associated with a birthright citizenship policy will be more than made up for by other economic benefits.