California Ballot Measure Would Prohibit U.S.-Born Children of Undocumented Immigrants From Public Health, Other Benefits
A proposed California ballot measure would create a special birth certificate for children born to undocumented immigrants and prohibit those children from receiving public health and other benefits, the North County Times reports. Under the measure, sponsored by the Taxpayer Revolution group, parents who give birth to a child in the state would have to show proof of residency before receiving a birth certificate for their child.
In the event that they are unable to provide such documentation, parents would have to pay an additional $75 fee to the county registrar, provide employment information, the mother's fingerprints and three passport-type photos of the mother for a "Birth to Foreign Parents document" instead of a standard birth certificate. The information obtained would then be reported to the Department of Homeland Security.
Opponents contend that the measure is discriminatory, unconstitutional and not likely to pass. Kristina Campbell, staff attorney at Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said the measure unjustly treats children differently on the basis of their parents' immigration status, a violation of the equal-protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. "It's creating different kinds of classes of people," Campbell said, adding, "There's not different kinds of citizenships in this country."
Supporters need 433,971 valid signatures from registered voters by Sept. 8 to put the initiative on the June 2010 ballot, according to the secretary of state (Sifuentes, North County Times, 4/15).