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Topics Homepage> The U.S. Constitution should permit birthright citizenship > PRO side > Arguments 5

The U.S. Constitution should permit birthright citizenship


5. Assertion: Birthright citizenship incentivises illegal action by immigrants.

Reasoning: Lindsay Graham, NYT: "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 is automatically an American citizen. That shouldn't be the case. That attracts people here for all the wrong reasons. Lino Graglia of the University of Texas law school, "[A parent from a poor country] can hardly do more for a child than make him or her an American citizen, entitled to all the advantages of the American welfare system. It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one which makes unauthorized entry into this country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides perhaps the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry."

Reasoning 2: Anchor babies are children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens who can harbor his or her family to come to the U.S. for free. Birthright citizenship lures illegal aliens, who know a U.S.-born child is, thanks to American immigration law's family-reunification bias, an anchor baby who will be able to sponsor his relatives for residence and citizenship. They also know that anchor babies' mothers are not deported. In 2003, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors reported that two-thirds of births in L.A. County hospitals were to illegal aliens, the majority of which were Mexicans. Conservative estimates of illegal-alien births here, assuming an illegal alien population of between 8.7 and 11 million, run from 287,000 to 363,000 per year. Over 1/10 of all U.S. births are to illegal immigrants.

Evidence: A study of Hispanic women who gave birth in San Diego County from 1991-92 revealed that at least 25% of them came to the United States to give birth in this country, and two-thirds of those women said it was so their babies could become citizens. Also, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, 66.1% of all illegals that come into the U.S. annually, or a total of 750,000 illegals, come here on the basis of sponsorship from anchor babies. Peter Schuck. "Birthright of a Nation." New York Times. August 13, 2010