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The report issued this week by the Pew Research Center about births to illegal immigrants and widely reported on by the major media brings out a number of serious issues about the impact of the breakdown of our border security and immigration system. One – but certainly not the only – of these is the “anchor baby” situation.

You might be surprised to hear I don’t believe that the unbelievably high number of births to illegal immigrants is the underlying issue here; however, it is important to take a careful look at these numbers from the Pew Report:

  • 340,000 of 4.3 million births in 2008 were to mothers here illegally (8 percent of all births vs. illegals comprising 4 percent of population).

  • Four in five (79 percent) of the 5.1 million children of illegals were born in this country.
  • All immigrants comprise 12.8 percent of the population but are parents to 23 percent of the children under 17.
  • Median age of U.S. citizens is 46.3 years; for legal immigrants it is 45.9; for illegal immigrants it is 35.5.
  • Immigrants have a higher fertility/birth rate than natural born citizens (2.8 vs. 2.0); foreign-born Hispanics are at 3.1.
  • Illegal immigrants “… are much more likely than either legal immigrants or native-born adults to live in a household with a spouse and a child or children.”

There is much more, and Pew also announced they will soon be releasing a report on “the size of the unauthorized population and key demographic characteristics, including its geographic settlement patterns; its countries and regions of origin; and its economic circumstances.”

The classic parenting book for today’s challenges: “Child Training Tips: What I Wish I Knew When My Children Were Young”

Before I make my point I’d like to confirm my conviction that any reasonable study of the original intent of the 14th Amendment granting birthright citizenship shows it cannot be legitimately applied to those who have broken the laws to come here. We certainly are under no obligation to pay the multiplied millions of dollars in hospital delivery and stay costs for these births.

In addition, those babies are growing up with little understanding or respect for “American history, the basis of our constitutional republic and the duties of citizenship” as we define as mandatory in the Pastors’ Declaration on Border Security and Immigration Reform.

We must address this. However, we must also recognize that because of a poor decision by our Supreme Court the children born here until we correct this misapplication of law are U.S. citizens.   It makes dealing justly with their parents very complicated; however, we must accept some responsibility for the actions of our government and help lead them to love our Lord, our country and our Constitution.

Also, if we legitimately, completely and rapidly secure the borders first (also as asserted in the Pastors’ Declaration), the anchor-baby problem is essentially eliminated.

With that said – America, we have a problem. We are killing our babies and our posterity through abortion, birth control and by intentionally limiting our family size to one or two children. I’d like to ask a tough question of those most incensed about the anchor babies.

God said to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:27).

What have you done to uphold or restore this God-given mandate?

The good news is that there is a recent trend back toward “large” families, although that definition is certainly different than in our grandparents’ day. My great-great grandfather was one of 11 siblings, a story often heard about that era of mid 19th to early 20th century America. We now define a “large” family as three or more.

Please understand that I don’t criticize childless couples or “small” families. Every married couple should seek God’s plan for their family and then trust Him to direct the size. However, the reality is that most of us do not do so but decide we are going to play God. My wife and I did that in our early marriage.

After we were blessed with both a boy and a girl, we decided we could not afford more and weren’t sure we still wanted the original four we had “planned.” Thankfully, after a five-year “disobedience” period, we were challenged by Bill Gothard at an Advanced Seminar of Institute in Basic Life Principles to turn the reigns back over to a loving God.

Lisa Renee, Jennifer Michelle, Rebecca Leigh and Richard Douglas were added as blessings to our quiver, joining David Jr. and Stephanie Joy. We of course cannot imagine life without them, and only regret those five years in wondering who else God had planned to bless us with.

I also remember the response of many in our conservative, evangelical church when we became pregnant with No. 3 and No. 6 in particular – both times it was essentially, “Oh, you are one of those families.” Thanks to leaders like Bill Gothard, whose leadership birthed the homeschool movement, that paradigm has changed a little in the church.

As a nation, we have not changed and in other critical ways are continuing our destructive ways. Removing Hispanic births from the equation, we are below the replacement rate to sustain our nation. Our out-of-wedlock birthrate, according to the National Vital Statistics Reports is – my descriptor – catastrophic:

“The proportion of all births to unmarried women increased to 40.6 percent in 2008, up from 39.7 percent in 2007.”

Let’s face the hard truth. Anchor babies are a problem, but they are not the problem. While we work to repair the breach in our border and immigration policies we must also do some national soul-searching.

We must determine if we truly love children enough to both start having them God’s way, with God’s direction, and in accordance with God’s design: within a marriage between one natural man and one natural woman, for life.

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