Thursday, August 12, 2010

8% of US Babies Born to Illegal Immigrants

The Wall Street Journal has a front page article on the new report from the Pew Hispanic Center on the children of illegal immigrants:
One in 12 babies born in the U.S. in 2008 were offspring of illegal immigrants, according to a new study, an estimate that could inflame the debate over birthright citizenship.

Undocumented immigrants make up slightly more than 4% of the U.S. adult population. However, their babies represented twice that share, or 8%, of all births on U.S. soil in 2008, according to the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center's report.

This is a large number and will certainly figure into the public discussion of the 14th Amendment and "anchor babies". The report does note that over 80% of the mothers had been in the US over a year. So, that makes about 20% of the 8% first time "anchor babies". I calculate that as over 1% of US births in 2008 were clearly "anchor baby" phenomena.

I noticed the Wall Street Journal article and the Pew report, Unauthorized Immigrants and Their US-Born Children, assume the 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who are born in the US and that a revision to the constitution is necessary to deny birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens. But I thought that was an open question since the 14th Amendment includes the language "subject to the jurisdiction thereof".


Anonymous said...


Andy said...

This could really serve to foster an intelligent conversation on our Constitution if folk could keep their emotions and tempers in check.

I believe that the Spirit as well as the letter of the 14th Ammendment should be considered here. I'm fully convinced that when this ammendment went out to the states for ratification, it was implied that the parents of said offspring were indise our borders legitimately.

In the situation at hand, the parents of said offspring are here without authorization and are actually in the comission of a crime at the time of their children's birth.

Now, the callous and cruel thing to do would be to remove these newborns and place them in American families (Which I don't support). The better thing would be to deport as a family unit.