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 Post subject: Anchor Babies
PostPosted: 12 Aug 2010, 14:07 
Thu Aug 12, 9:38 am ET
Are ‘anchor babies’ a widespread problem?
By Liz Goodwin


By Liz Goodwin liz Goodwin – Thu Aug 12, 9:38 am ET

A new U.S. study finding that 1 child in 15 has an illegal-immigrant parent has helped stoke the heated national controversy around illegal immigration.

Meanwhile, in 2008 about 1 U.S. birth in 12 was to an illegal-immigrant parent — suggesting that the number of U.S. citizens with an illegal-immigrant parent is on the rise. And the debate over the legal status of these children (whom immigration-crackdown advocates pejoratively call "anchor babies") is gaining visibility as more Republican leaders are banking on an anti-immigration message in the 2010 midterms.

So what are the main issues in the debate over citizenship for native-born children of an illegal immigrant? Here's a brief rundown.

Arizona's harsh new immigration law has galvanized conservative activists — and the federal court decision striking down many of its components has helped turn this anti-illegal-immigration sentiment into anti-government sentiment.

Prominent Republicans including Sen. John McCain of Arizona and House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio have called for hearings on the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to all people born in the United States. They argue that the measure, approved in 1868, was intended to guarantee citizenship to slaves who were freed in the Civil War, not to the children of illegal immigrants. They say that people enter the country illegally in order to have children who are automatically U.S. citizens and who will "anchor" their parents to America.

[Is birthright citizenship really in the Constitution? Some experts say no]

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — better known for advocating for comprehensive immigration reform that would lead to a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country — has become one of the leading champions of altering the Constitution.

"People come here to have babies," he said on Fox News. "They come here to drop a child. It's called 'drop and leave.' To have a child in America, they cross the border, they go to the emergency room, have a child, and that child's automatically an American citizen. That shouldn't be the case. That attracts people here for all the wrong reasons."

However, people who study patterns of illegal immigration say that this statement is probably not true in the vast number of birthright citizenship cases. The co-author of the Pew study told Time's Kate Pickert that "well over 80 percent" of the 340,000 births to an illegal immigrant in 2008 were to a mother who had been in the country for at least a year, suggesting they did not come to the country specifically to have a child.

[How ending birthright citizenship could change immigration]

And "birth tourism" — in which people purportedly come to America specifically to have a child and then return with the child to their country — seems to be relatively uncommon. Experts told ABC News that some of the estimated 7,700 foreign moms who gave birth in 2006 could have been "birth tourists." But others might have been students at U.S. colleges, or on vacation.

Here's Graham talking about the issue of birthright citizenship, "anchor babies" and "birth tourism" (courtesy of Fox News):

Meanwhile, children have to wait until they are 21 to seek legal status for an illegal-immigrant parent. According to Politifact, "Only 4,000 unauthorized immigrants can receive such status per year, and the alien has to have been in the U.S. for at least 10 years."

The seemingly limited scope of the "anchor baby" phenomenon suggest that congressional Republicans may have trouble getting legislative traction behind their constitutional campaign against birthright citizenship. And even if Republicans were to manage to move a repeal of the 14th Amendment through Congress, they'd still face the cumbersome process of approving a formal amendment to the Constitution. Two-thirds of both the House and Senate and three-fourths of all state legislatures would have to vote to repeal it.

(Photo: AP. Jenny Aguilar, who is facing deportation, lies with her son Luciano, 2, who was born in the United States. Aguilar has lived in the country for 18 years.)

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Politics - The Upshot





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bill 1 minute ago Report Abuse

you want to deport my kids people what is wrong with you.

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HKgirl
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HKgirl 1 minute ago Report Abuse

Anchor babies are a serious invasion to America and is a threat to the national security of this country.

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alt@77
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alt@77 1 minute ago Report Abuse

Not everybody is illegal . they look illegal but they're not .
why don't you about other people that are here illegally and they're not from Mexico .

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Dav
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Dav 1 minute ago Report Abuse

11 million? Is that all? Double that number and the writer might be closer to the truth.

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--
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-- 1 minute ago Report Abuse

Funny how fast Repubs want to shred the constitution when it comes the the 14th amendment.

Oh well..just following the party line I guess.. hypocrisy.

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Eric
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Eric 1 minute ago Report Abuse

I try avoid saying anything about gov...however Mr. Graham is
the only one I totally agree with for the right reason. GBA!

Thank you Mr. Graham talking the truth - plain and simple!

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We the People
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We the People 1 minute ago Report Abuse

A very good bumper sticker would read

"Report employers who are hiring illegal aliens - 1-866-DHS-2-ICE"

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Nyx
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Nyx 1 minute ago Report Abuse

In my opinion, at least one parent should be a US citizen to guarantee citizen rights to children born here.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous 1 minute ago Report Abuse

Republicans please keep talking like this, and you will cement the Hispanic population as a permanent Democratic voting block. Short term gain for the GOP, but definitely a longer and bigger gain for Democrats.

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daisylady
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daisylady 1 minute ago Report Abuse

The U.S. needs to take away the incentive to come here for benefits because it has broken the backs of hard working Americans that have been "forced" to support these illegal immigrants. I think the constitution is violating Americans rights, not illegal immigrants rights. But then it appears our politicians don't seem to care about the rights of Americans and the protection of the benefits for which they work to help Americans in need, not illegal immigrants looking for hand outs that their own country refuse to give them.


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