Anchor babies, free education, health care, social programs
Illegal Aliens Give Birth to 8% of Babies Born in U.S.
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As the phenomenon of so-called “anchor babies”—infants born to illegal aliens within the United States and its territories that automatically become citizens—becomes more of an election issue in many localities, a Pew poll reveals that 8 percent of babies born each year in the U.S. are anchor babies.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, approximately 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in the United States in 2008 were the children of illegal aliens, many of whom emanate from Mexico.
The study which was released yesterday comes as more and more Americans are showing concern over illegal aliens entering the U.S. and garnering a treasure-trove of benefits such as free education, health care, and other social programs. Some conservative lawmakers wish to amend the 14th Amendment from which the court have derived the concept of “anchor babies.”
According to Pew, illegal aliens represent only four percent of the U.S. adult population, but their children account for a much larger share of newborns (eight percent) and children under 18 (seven percent).
Pew research reveals that nearly four-in-five (79 percent) of the 5.1 million children under the age of 18 born to illegal aliens were born in the United States and qualified as citizens.
Prominent Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has been among the vocal advocates of changing the law, claiming in interviews that illegal immigrants were entering the United States solely to have babies in the country and gain citizenship for their offspring and all the government entitlements available.
The Pew report is based on figures available from data gathered in the US Census Bureau’s 2009 population survey as well as analysis of the demographic characteristics of illegal aliens
While focusing on illegal aliens who surreptitiously entered the United States, experts say that not all of these lawbreakers entered via U.S, borders with Mexico and Canada. According to a Government Accountability Office report, more than 2 million illegal aliens entered the U.S. legally, but ignored the expiration date on their visas and remain here illegally.
Each year, millions of visitors, foreign students, and immigrants come to the United States. Foreign visitors may enter on a legal temporary basis—that is, with an authorized period of admission that expires on a specific date—either with temporary visas (generally for tourism, business, or work) or, in some cases, as tourists or business visitors who are allowed to enter without visas.
The majority of visitors who are tracked depart on time, but others overstay, and since September 11, 2001, the question has arisen as to whether overstay issues might have an impact on domestic security.
Significant numbers of foreign visitors overstay their authorized periods of admission. Based in part on its long-standing I-94 system for tracking arrivals and departures, the Department of Homeland Security estimated the overstay population at 2.3 million. But this estimate excludes an unknown number of long-term overstays from Mexico and Canada, and by definition and it excludes short-term overstays from these and other countries.
Because of unresolved weaknesses in Department of Homeland Security’s long-standing tracking system (e.g., non-collection of some departure forms), there is no accurate list of overstays. Tracking system weaknesses make it difficult to monitor potentially suspicious aliens who enter the country legally—and limit immigration control options. Post-September 11 operations identified thousands of overstays and other illegal alien workers who (despite limited background checks) had obtained critical infrastructure jobs and security badges with access to, for example, airport tarmacs and U.S. military bases.