In Texas the number is big and getting bigger, well over a half million babies born during the past eight years to mothers who came to this country illegally.
Because they were born on American soil each of these children will enjoy the "birth right" of American citizenship as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
With one in eight Mexican nationals now residing in the U.S. many lawmakers, here and across the country, believe it's time to draw a line.
"We are demeaning our citizenships by giving them away freely, especially to people who are violating our borders,” State Representative Leo Berman of Tyler says.
Berman is hoping to provoke a massive legal battle by passing a measure denying a Texas birth certificate to the children of non-citizens.
"The majority of pregnant women are just coming here for the opportunity to get citizenship for their child and it will drop dramatically," Berman contends.
Houston immigration attorney Peter Williamson sees the proposal much differently.
"What I hear is hate speech. I think its fear driven," said Williamson.
He views this attack on birth-right citizenship as politically exploitative, legally ill-conceived and thoroughly mean spirited.
"When people are talking about anchor babies they are talking about babies. They are not talking about white babies. They are talking about brown babies, red babies, yellow babies. They are talking about black babies," adds Wlliamson.
They are babies, Berman argues, which will reap a lifetime of rewards as a result of their parents law-breaking behavior and in some cases, may actually pose a threat to the nation in the future.
"They take them back to the Middle East where they go back to a Muslim madrasah school of training and they could come back to the United States as terrorists with U.S. passports," says Berman.
Williamson sees that kind of speculation as a political scare tactic.
"They are afraid of tomorrow. They are afraid of the unknown and people do have problems and they want somebody to blame it on, but don't blame babies," Williamson said.
One Texas lawmaker has described this largely Republican-led assault on the 14th amendment as "pulling the pin on the immigration grenade” just in time for this fall's critical elections.
|Liveleak on Facebook|