Women are again charging into what was once seen as a realm that was only populated by men—the illegal immigrant workforce. After a recent raid of a factory in Texas, where the majority of those detained were women, the Houston Chronicle published an article discussing this new trend. With heightened border control and visa regulation, many men are finding it harder to come to the U.S. to work and then return home to their families in their native countries. Hence, many are now bringing their families with them. A noticeable increase in smuggling fees has also been cited as a reason that is keeping illegal immigrants here and many continue working illegally hoping to one day be granted amnesty. No longer is there a transient mentality to illegal immigration, rather one of permanence. With that illegal immigrants are now forming their families her in the U.S., raising the issue of birthright citizenship and the question of whether the children of illegal immigrants should be granted U.S. citizenship solely because they were born on American soil.
In a Heritage publication, Making Citizens: The Case for Patriotic Assimilation, Dr. Matthew Spalding discusses the issues that surround the concepts of assimilation and naturalization in the United States. Immigrants have always been welcomed to the U.S. and it was the belief of the Founders that once here they should by made into citizens. However, the process of becoming a citizen was never immediate or without conditions; it was believed that immigrants must be educated in American principles and interact with the current citizens in order to develop an appreciation and knowledge of our country and how it works. Hence, came the concept of the residency requirements, naturalization tests and renunciation of previous allegiances. The growing establishment of illegal immigrant families, mixed with children receiving birthright citizenship, raises hard questions about whether assimilation can work is such an environment.