Larry Mantle |

A new Pew study estimates how many children are born in the U. S. to illegal immigrant parents

Interestingly, it shows that about eight-percent of the current births in this country are to undocumented parents.  Nearly 80-percent of the children of illegal immigrants in the U. S. were born here.  Seven-percent of the total kids in this country have at least one parent who's living unauthorized in the U. S.

These are important numbers to consider as we debate the nation's immigration policy.  Those who conduct studies on the economic impact of illegal immigration often don't consider the public costs of the children born here to illegal immigrants.  The studies confine the economic analysis to the benefits and costs of the undocumented, not their citizen offspring. 

Given that illegal immigrants are comparatively low users of public services, it can skew the balance.  With public education, medical care, and other services to which they're entitled, the costs for citizen children of those here illegally are significant.  That's particularly true in Southern California.

The large numbers of kids of illegal immigrants also points out the huge challenge in how to deal with the estimated eleven-million undocumented in the U. S.  A large number of them have U. S. citizen children.  How should we deal with that issue?  Do you favor repealing the 14th Amendment and doing away with automatic citizenship for those born in the U. S.?  Should illegal immigrant parents with citizen children be given a route to legal status?

For more on the study, check out our Wednesday AirTalk.