Children born in the United States whose parents are in the country illegally have become an issue in the race for president, as several candidates have referred to the practice of bestowing citizenship on those who are born in this country as in need of reform.
The term "anchor babies," a pejorative term used to refer to children born to parents who moved to the United States before the birth so the child would automatically be granted citizenship.
“Babies born to illegal alien mothers within U.S. borders are called anchor babies because under the 1965 Immigration Act, they act as an anchor that pulls the illegal alien mother and eventually a host of other relatives into permanent U.S. residency,” according to the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform, which pushes to end illegal immigration and cap legal immigration at 100,000 people per year.
While the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are granted citizenship status in this nation, this amendment—ratified in 1868 to protect the rights of native-born black Americans whose rights were being denied as free slaves—has been taken too literally to mean that every person born in the United States should be granted citizenship status.
Undocumented immigrants who give birth to babies in the United States cheat the legal permanent residents who pay their taxes, follow the law, follow proper procedures to gain legal U.S. citizenship and who devote numerous decades in the U.S. to do so. For example, my father came to the country in 1989 and followed legal procedure to gain U.S. citizenship, which finally came in 2013.
There are people who devote decades of their lives in the U.S., following the law and regularly paying taxes, to rightfully becoming U.S. citizens. Therefore, it is unfair for some to give birth for the sole purpose of “quickly” receiving citizenship status.
Such births also hurt the already bad economy and creates higher out of pocket expenses and insurance bills for U.S. taxpayers.
According to Brain Hayes from Top Right News, legal American citizens and permanent residents “pay billions for illegal alien births.” He also has said that 84 hospitals in California went bankrupt and closed doors because of unpaid bills by those living here illegally. This means that the hospitals that have struggled to stay open have to pass the unpaid costs onto citizens and taxpayers, raising out of pocket expenses and higher insurance costs. Yearly, one in 10 of all births in the United States are “illegal alien offspring,” which translates to 400,000 babies a year, according to Top Right News.
“Medicaid alone paid $2.2 billion last year to partially reimburse hospitals for unpaid illegal alien delivery bills,” reported Top Right News. And still, tens of billions of dollars are not being reimbursed to hospitals.
The trend of giving birth to ensure U.S. citizenship is creating a negative ripple effect in the global community and should end. Policies should be created to filter people taking shortcuts to gain U.S. citizenship.