Monday, January 11, 2010
By Matt Kokkonen

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform ( FAIR ), the cost of illegal immigration to California taxpayers is $10.5 billion per year. That figure represents half of the projected state budget deficit for the next year, meaning that
illegal immigration is contributing hugely to the massive budget shortfalls California faces year in and year out. Our educational system alone is spending $7.7 billion per year to educate the children of illegal immigrants in our public schools where these children now constitute more than 15% of the student pool. Another $1.4 billion is going to pay for health care to illegal immigrants and their kin which is about the same amount being spent to house illegal immigrant criminals in our prison system. The cost per California household is almost $1,200 a year! An astonishing 70% of the 2,300 babies born in San Joaquin General Hospital in Stockton in 2003 were so-called “anchor babies.”
As a candidate for 33rd Assembly District and a legal immigrant myself, I am committed to stopping—once and for all—this hemorrhaging of our hard-earned tax dollars to people who have broken into this country illegally.
The federal courts have proved to be the biggest obstacle in cutting off the flow of
money and benefits to illegal immigrants. One only has to recall how Proposition 187,passed by 59% of California voters in 1994 ( including a large number of Latino voters ) was subsequently shredded by a federal judge.
Yet, the answer to stopping the “anchor baby” phenomenon and the automatic citizenship of children of foreign-born individuals on U.S. soil is already in the Constitution. No new amendment is necessary. All we need is to get a test-case to the United States Supreme Court where a sensible majority of Justices should rule appropriately.
Let me explain.
According to the 14th Amendment which was ratified in 1868 for the purpose of guaranteeing the newly-freed slaves their rights, “all persons, born or naturalized in
the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” The key phrase is “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” That phrase was meant to exclude from automatic citizenship persons born on American soil whose allegiance to America was incomplete. For instance, Native Americans were excluded from citizenship because of their tribal jurisdictions. Also, foreign visitors, ambassadors, consuls, and their babies born here were excluded.
Clearly, an illegal alien who has broken the laws of the United States to come here has no respect or allegiance to the American government whose laws he is flagrantly violating. Therefore, how can it be argued that an illegal immigrant and an “anchor baby” born onU.S. soil is subject to the “jurisdiction” of U.S. law? Can anyone logically believe it was the intention of the framers of the 14th Amendment to ensure a perpetual “gravy train” of money and benefits to people who violated American immigration laws which – at that time – were so strictly enforced that legal immigrants had difficulty entering the United States?
As your 33rd District Assemblyman and someone who successfully pursued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court ( winning in a unanimous decision ), I will work with anti-illegal immigration activists and organizations throughout the state to develop a test-case on the 14th Amendment which can go directly to the High Court which has never ruled on this specific interpretation before.
Matt Kokkonen is a San Luis Obispo financial planner and political activist. In 2008, he was the Republican nominee for Congress in the 23rd District, receiving over 80,000 votes. Currently, he is a candidate for State Assembly in the 33rd District.
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