Initiative targets illegal immigrants, their children

After a hiatus, the politically sensitive and emotional debate over immigration is coming back.

A conservative group will start collecting signatures for a proposed measure called the California Taxpayer Protection Act of 2010.

It aims to deny public benefits to anyone who cannot verify their lawful presence in the United States. It also denies birth certificates to children of undocumented parents who fail to verify status, in effect creating a new caste of birth certificates for children of illegal immigrants.

The parents would be required to be photographed, fingerprinted and pay an additional $75 fee to obtain the new "Certificate of Live Birth with Foreign Parent."

"It's very un-American," said Bakersfield immigrant rights activist Dr. Jess Nieto.

"You're creating a separate caste where certain people who are born here are treated differently...that goes against the 14Th amendment," said Nieto.

Nieto says the proposed measure is a "strong cousin" to Proposition 187 which also restricted state benefits to undocumented immigrants.
Though California voters passed the measure in 1994, legal challenges
struck it down.

A federal found key parts of the measure to be unconstitutional and it was struck down.

Proponents of the "California Taxpayer Protection Act of 2010" include
former republican state senator Bill Morrow of Oceanside.

Proponents must collect 433,971 valid signatures from registered voters in order to qualify the measure on the June 2010 ballot.