LatinaLista — Another sign of just how nasty and low the debate has gotten regarding illegal immigration, a Texas state Representative has filed the mother of all bills when it comes to intimidating, demeaning and further driving home the point that too many of these politicians are using this sad situation to further their political notoriety.
Representative Leo Berman of Tyler, Texas has filed a bill that would prevent children born in the United States to undocumented parents from receiving state benefits such as food stamps and public housing.
Texas Republian Rep. Leo Berman targets the most innocent victims of the immigration debate.
(Source: Texas Directory)
Since the vast majority of undocumented families don't take advantage of such state services that provision seems a moot point, but what really hits below the belt is that Berman wants the state to stop recognizing these children as U.S. citizens.
As is so often the case in this debate, the critics refuse to see the bigger picture.
That would entail a little compassion, having some economic foresight and just plain common sense â€” rare qualities among select Republicans these days.
By virtue of the fact that these children are born in the United States does not mean that their parents made the dangerous trip from their home countries just to enjoy parenthood.
If that is the popular thought among critics then they are more misinformed than originally believed.
Though I don't have any documentation, I know from personal experience that many, many undocumented parents of children who are born in this country have the children either after having met in this country and decide to marry and start a family or arrived as a couple and waited a while before having children.
Though it's true that some women, knowing how much better life would be for their children, made a point to cross over just to be able to claim citizenship for their children, the feeling is not that it is as widespread as some think it is.
The number one reason for entering and staying in the country without papers is to work; the children are a byproduct of that original intention.
To deny these children citizenship, not only penalizes them for something they had no control over but essentially makes a whole generation undereducated by denying them equitable access to higher education, if other illegal immigration reform bills should pass.
To what advantage is it to our country to have a generation of kids who are too smart to not be pursuing higher levels of study and are ineligible to work because of their legal status?
It's a sure recipe for forcing kids to get into trouble because there's no incentive not to. Gang populations would swell. Teenage pregnancies would climb higher and the high school drop out rate could accelerate because they know there's no future for them after high school.
Also, by denying these kids an affordable opportunity to pursue a deeper education and the chance to work deprives our economy from much needed labor, regardless of the industry.
Does it make sense to deny citizenship to a group of children who have the potential to contribute to this economy and society in positive, productive ways?
Or is it preferred that these children rack up their public contributions from behind bars or in the juvenile courts?
If that is the case, the blame can't be shifted so easily onto the children â€” but will lie solely with those lawmakers who lacked the foresight to see the bigger picture and the common sense to act on it.