The Salvation Army and a charity affiliated with the Houston Fire Department are among those that consider immigration status, asking for birth certificates or Social Security cards for the children.

The point isn’t to punish the children but to ensure that their parents are either citizens, legal immigrants or working to become legal residents, said Lorugene Young, whose Outreach Program Inc. is one of three groups that distribute toys collected by firefighters.

“It’s not our desire to turn anyone down,” she said. “Those kids are not responsible if they are here illegally. It is the parents’ responsibility.”

I’ve always wondered how the US government could reasonably enforce certain laws against illegal immigrants. To my knowledge there is no set of identification I have to have to prove I was a citizen. Isn’t it incumbent on the authorities to prove that I am not?

Of course this is a private charity, which changes the legal if not moral obligations.

HT: Yglesias

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