Berman proposing bill to remove automatic citizenship of children born in U.S. - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Berman proposing bill to remove automatic citizenship of children born in U.S.

Illegal aliens cost Texas taxpayers $4 billion a year, much of that on healthcare.

State Representative Leo Berman says he has a plan to save you money, and part of it focuses on changing the U.S. Constitution. But, as KLTV 7's Molly Reuter shows us, not everyone feels the issue of immigration should fall in the hands of the state.

Under federal law, free healthcare was given to 70 percent of the babies born at Parkland hospital in Dallas, their parents - illegal aliens.

"One of the main attractions to an illegal woman is when she is in her 9 month of pregnancy, she can check into any Texas hospital, go through pre-natal care, deliver a child and receive U.S. citizenship, while paying nothing for the medical care," said Rep. Leo Berman.

Berman says Parkland is just one example where Texas taxpayers are paying millions on illegal aliens.

We checked with East Texas Medical Center and Mother Frances Hospital. Both say they do not keep those kind of records.

In January, Berman says he will file a bill that restricts citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants born at public hospitals. Instead, Berman says the child will be issued a notice of birth with instructions to get the same citizenship as their parents.

"It's going to stop the benefit that attracts people to Texas hospitals where they actually want to give birth, so their child can be a U.S. citizen," said Berman.

Immigration lawyer Jose Sanchez says that violates the U.S. Constitution.

"The constitution itself and the 14th amendment states that every person that's born in this country, or is naturalized is a citizen, and a state can't pass something that makes them an uncitizen," said Sanchez. "We are trying to punish them for the faults of their parents. That just doesn't make sense."

Berman says he understands that, but welcomes the federal court to step in.

"We want someone to sue us, to get into the Federal Court system where our Attorney General can take this all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where someone can finally say the constitution and the 14th amendment does not apply to illegal aliens at all," said Berman - forcing the hand of government to take this sensitive issue out of the state's hands.

Berman says state representatives will be proposing around 30 bills this legislative session dealing with illegal aliens.

We want to know if you believe children born in the U.S. should receive automatic citzenship. You can find that poll question on the homepage of or at the top of this story.

Molly Reuter, reporting.

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