Several Houston charities—including the Salvation Army and a group affiliated with the Houston Fire Department—are demanding proof that needy children aren't illegal immigrants before giving them free Christmas toys. Parents will need to supply their children's birth certificates or prove that at least either Mom or Dad is here legally. Though the Salvation Army says it's just trying to prevent fraud, immigration activists are incensed. Are the charities' policies smart or fundamentally uncharitable?

Don't punish kids for their parents' crimes: These charities say their point isn't to punish the children, says Matthew Yglesias at Think Progress, but that's exactly what they're doing. Granted, the parents shouldn't have come to the U.S. without legal permission. But people shouldn't steal either, and the Salvation Army isn't telling kids they can't have toys if their parents are burglars.
"Toy drives checking immigration status of children"

Don't punish citizens for the sake of illegal immigrants: "There are too few toys and too many needy children," says So giving a toy to an illegal immigrant means taking one away from a needy American boy or girl. If the immigration activists want to help, they should discourage people from entering the U.S. illegally and using up our limited resources.
"Matt Yglesias supports taking toys from needy U.S. children; unable to understand limited resources"

Everyone should be welcome for the holidays:
Sure, it has been "a tough financial year," says Katie Powalski in the Orlando Sentinel. But, come on! It's Christmas. "Aren't the holidays supposed to be for the kids?" There are ways to make political points without trampling "the holiday spirit of generosity."
"Immigration check for charity Christmas toys"