The Los Angeles Times reports that, at a tea party rally in the San Diego County city of Ramona , Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) stated that U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants should get deported along with their parents to save the state of California money:
QUESTION: Would you support deportation of natural-born American citizens that are the children of illegal aliens?
HUNTER: I would have to, yes. […] We simply cannot afford what we’re doing right now. California is going under. How much in debt are we? Twenty billion dollars? […] And we’re not being mean, we’re just saying it takes more than just walking across the border to become an American citizen. It’s what’s in our souls.
The U.S. Supreme Court explicitly ruled in United States v. Wong Kim Ark that anyone born in the United States would be a citizen regardless of their parents’ nationality. However, that hasn’t stopped Hunter from cosponsoring The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007, legislation that would attempt to overturn the 14th amendment by ending the practice of granting anyone born in the U.S. citizenship status. In fact, Hunter feels so adamantly about the issue that he has co-sponsored five other similar bills over the past thirteen years.
According to Hunter, Arizona’s law is “a fantastic starting point.” However, if Arizona succeeded in fulfilling its goal of deporting all of its undocumented immigrants, estimates show that the state would lose $26.4 billion in economic activity, $11.7 billion in gross state product, and approximately 140,324 jobs. Meanwhile, a study by the University of Southern California found that putting California’s 1.8 million undocumented Latino immigrants on a path to legalization would generate $16 billion annually.