According to a recently released Pew Research report, 46 percent of all Hispanic illegal immigrants in the United States have minor children, many of them U.S.-born. The statistic trounces numbers related to other Hispanic citizens with children: 38 percent of legal citizens are parents of minors, while only 29 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics have children.
With Hispanic illegal immigrants composing 81 percent of the entire U.S. illegal immigrant population, legal Hispanic citizens are in favor of the government providing avenues for American citizenship. Surveying 1,300 Hispanic adults, the Pew Hispanic Center 2010 National Survey of Latinos found that 86 percent of all Hispanics believe that illegal immigrants who pay taxes, have jobs and undergo background checks should be allowed a chance at citizenship. In another report conducted by Pew Research, “Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology,” 72 percent of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic Americans also supported these conditions for citizenship.
GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich recently endorsed a proposal for immigrants to gain legal status if they have lived in the United States for a long period of time, have children in the United States, pay taxes and belong to a church. With 35 percent of illegal adult immigrants living in the United States for 15 years of more and 28 percent for 10-14 years, according to NSL, clearly defining a “long period of time” will likely become a heavily debated subject should any of Gingrich’s proposed immigration reform policies come under scrutiny.
The issue of U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants has also been brought up on the GOP primary campaign trail by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has asserted her support for suspending birthright citizenship rights for the children born in the United States to undocumented residents.