Tyler State Representative Proposes Illegal Immigration Bill - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/27/06-Tyler

Tyler State Representative Proposes Illegal Immigration Bill

For almost 150 years, if you were born in the U.S.  You were an American citizen eligible for state benefits.  That would change if a new bill, written and sponsored by District 6 State Representative Leo Berman, passes.

"They are violating the most basic federal laws, our laws of immigration. That is outrageous," said Berman. 

Berman says it is unfair to taxpayers to have to foot the bill for "anchor babies" and their families.  "An anchor baby comes in with about a half dozen other people, who are now eligible to stay and draw benefits," said Berman.   "They are costing us three and a half billion dollars a year according to a study that I just went through."

Berman says there are 20 million illegal immigrants in the United States.  "That 20 million number in 20 years will equal about 50 because of the birth rate and the continued illegal crossing of our southern border."

The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives any person born in America automatic citizenship. The amendment was ratified in 1868 to give citizenship to children of former slaves.

"I want to hear a federal judge say this does not apply to illegal aliens who give birth in the United States," said Berman.

He says if the law passes, children would still be able to get health care and public education. But they would not be eligible for state benefits, including medicaid, food stamps, public housing, the C.H.I.P. program, worker's compensation or wage compensation.

Community Health Clinic of Northeast Texas Medical Director Craig Gunter says the need for medical care will still be there, but the state money they receive as compensation, will not.

"If it doesn't come through C.H.I.P. or medicaid, we might have to ask for more money from the county or the city to try to help keep us open and providing services," said Gunter.

Berman says a number of public hearings would take place before the House and Senate vote on this. He says the measure would then have to be approved by Governor Rick Perry. If the bill passes, Berman expects a lawsuit would be filed, challenging whether the bill is constitutional.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com

 

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