al sovereignty and border protection can find themselves at odds with advocates for migration who see in it a cheap labor force and a means of preventing further outsourcing overseas. In similar fashion, ideologues of the Left can find themselves divided between those who support the interests and needs of American workers (industrial and agricultural) and those according to whom the human rights of immigrants deserve to be recognized and protected.
Illegal immigration as an issue is not, however, simply a political one. It also presents a host of complex and not easily answered ethical questions. As both a nation of immigrants and one whose founding was greatly influenced by Enlightenment ideas of universal rights and dignity, the United States is sometimes hard pressed to reconcile some of its historic-philosophical values with its more immediate and typical needs regarding its national sovereignty and the rule of law. Furthermore, as a country for whom the Christian religion has long been an influential belief system, Christ’s message of “treat thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18) presents certain difficulties for resolving and, even more fraught with conflict, prosecuting illegal immigration.
The American Constitution guarantees certain rights to all United States citizens. Included is the Thirteenth Amendment which grants citizenship to all persons born within the borders of the country. When illegal immigrants come to the United States and have a child, that child is automatically an American citizen with rights to education, health care, Social Security, and other legal protections. These services all cost money. Though this area might represent a “loophole” in the law, until changed, these newborns deserve the same treatment as anyone else born here in America. Technically the child’s parents are still illegal and have no true legal claim to any benefits or services. It would hardly be ethical or moral, however, to separate the