why people in the US illegally have (at least some) Constitutional rights and why those who claim they don't (Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity) are wrong.
A dangerous and incorrect statement I've heard from some pundits lately is that people that are in the country illegally have no rights under the Constitution. This is not true, and in fact has been litigated by the Supreme Court many times over the last 130 years.
There was another time when there were massive numbers of illegal immigrants in the United States. These people were mainly from China, drawn here to work on the railroads in the then expanding American West in the late 1800s. Constitutional issues were raised regarding the rights of these folks and it was settled many times over by the Supreme Court that "any person" residing within our borders and abiding by ours laws is, in return, owed the protection of them. When I hear someone suggesting that the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness afforded by the Constitution only applies to naturally born US citizens, I wonder if any of these folks actually ever read the Constitution.
WONG WING v. U S, (1896)
"The provisions of the fifth, sixth, and thirteenth amendments of the constitution apply as well to Chinese persons who are aliens as to American citizens. The term 'person,' used in the fifth amendment, is broad enough to include any and every human being within the jurisdiction of the republic. A resident, alien born, is entitled to the same protection under the laws that a citizen is entitled to. He owes obedience to the laws of the country in which he is domiciled, and, as a consequence, he is entitled to the equal protection of those laws. This has been decided so often that the point does not require argument. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 369 , 6 Sup. Ct. 1064; Ho Ah Kow v. Nunan, 5 Sawy. 552, Fed. Cas. No. 6,546; Carlisle v. U. S., 16 Wall. 147; In re Lee Tong, 18 Fed. 253; In re Wong Yung Quy, 6 Sawy. 237, 47 Fed. 717; In re Chow Goo Pooi, 25 Fed. 77."
Some other Supreme Court cases include:
Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886) Almeida-Sanchez v. United States (1973) Plyler v. Doe (1982) Zadvydas v. Davis (2001)