But the story found by Brenda Walker in her last blog (linked to under “jackpot baby”) astonished even me.
Babies born in U.S. stir dispute, by Rosa Ramirez, [Rocky Mountain News ,August 29, 2006] is a remarkable case of outrageous facts offset by insultingly arrogant misrepresentation. The story supplies devastating facts:
One in 10 births in Colorado is covered by emergency Medicaid, a category of federal aid specifically designed to cover medical care for those who are poor enough for Medicaid but can't prove legal status to qualify…Children born to mothers who qualify for emergency Medicaid are automatically enrolled in Medicaid. And the state assumes those children will remain on Medicaid through the age of 18
Many young illegal immigrant women interviewed by the Rocky Mountain News said they first learned about the U.S. medical system when they became pregnant. Health care clinics then alerted them to other taxpayer-funded programs…Esther Montes, 32, from Jalisco, Mexico, said the first time she spoke to a U.S. doctor was in October 1997 - three years after arriving here illegally - when she was two months pregnant with her first child. During prenatal visits, she learned from health providers that emergency Medicaid could pay for her delivery. She applied to get it for two other deliveries Montes, like many illegal immigrant mothers with U.S. citizen children, didn't really understand who pays for Medicaid. Many don't see Medicaid's coverage of their delivery or WIC services as a "benefit." When asked what Medicaid is and how it's funded, Montes didn't know.
From the story it is absolutely clear that the immigrant parents totally understand what a valuable asset being born on American soil is:
Illegal immigrant Patricia Silva, 35, of Denver, said she believes her two U.S.-born children will have educational opportunities that her Mexican-born son won't ever have. "If they have good grades and want to study, I've heard that the government helps them . . . with loans. That's only if they're good students," she said. It's often those educational and job opportunities for their American children that are the real "anchor" that keeps illegal immigrant parents here.
This story appears to be a case of solid reporting of the lucrative piracy by illegal immigrants of American social benefits – well worth reading in full - being overwritten by a dogmatic determination to assert that “anchor babies” do not motivate behavior by illegals.
“Some claim they 'anchor' parents; experts disagree”
is the sub-head. The experts, of course, are immigration advocates. The incentive to stay is conceded in the story. The legal reality:
An immigrant might persuade authorities to let him stay in the country if a son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen can prove that he or she will suffer "extreme and unusual hardship" without the parent
- which effectively precludes deportation of “anchored” parents - is skimmed over. But this is the jugular of America's social transformation.
The net effect is advocacy journalism at its worst.