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Misconception about granting citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants

Dealing with anchor Babies

By Congressman Mac Collins (Ret. R-Ga)
Friday, May 19, 2006

Each year the United States grants citizenship to a quarter of a million children of illegal aliens. There is a common misconception among the public that such citizenship is a constitutional guarantee. The fact is that the constitutional question of whether the 14th amendment grants citizenship to children of foreigners born on U.S. soil was addressed by the Supreme Court over 100 years ago in the Slaughter House Cases[i] and, again, in 1971 in the case of Rogers v. Belle[ii]. all existing case law confirms that the Fourteenth amendment does not automatically grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. The reality is that it was Congress, through immigration legislation, which created this prize of citizenship for the children of people who violate our laws by entering our country illegally. 

Between 1997 and 2001, the unfortunate byproduct of our current immigration code has been a cost to the tax payers of the United States of billions of dollars to support these children who are popularly known as "anchor babies". They are named so because their legal status ties their illegal parents to the United States. During this time period, U.S. taxpayers have spent more than 4 billion dollars just to provide Medicaid to these children whose parents do not even pay into the system. Medicaid coverage, free education, and protection from deportation for the parents of "anchor babies" are a primary draw for many people to enter this country illegally. The time has come for our Congress to side with the majority of U.S. citizens and heed the calls for real immigration reform by repealing the INS legislation that makes the United States such an attractive residential destination for illegal aliens and their families. 

a good place to begin would be to follow the example of the majority of Latin american countries and stop granting citizenship to the children of those who come into our nation illegally. Congressman Nathan Deal of Georgia has proposed long overdue legislation, in the form of H.R. 698, which will once and for all rectify this flaw in our current immigration laws. Mr. Deal's legislation would simply remove the costly reward of citizenship for those whose parents have come here illegally. The time has come for the Congress and the administration to support this important legislation. as of the writing of this article only about 80 of my former colleagues in the House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of Mr. Deal's legislation. By ignoring immigration reform members of Congress can avoid addressing this politically sensitive question during an election year however, by doing so they are putting their personal political interests above the needs of the citizens they are elected to represent.

Inaction on Capitol Hill has left our nation's borders tragically vulnerable, five years post-September 11th and forced the american taxpayer to continue to pay the bill for the cost of illegal immigration. The elimination of the "anchor baby" loophole in our immigration laws should be addressed immediately by Congress- and repealed.

The time to start implementing this reform is now, with the elimination of "anchor babies" and the privileges it unwittingly bestows upon illegal aliens who parent for profit. If Congress is truly concerned about reform, and the proof will come in the form of action not tedious speechifying, it can start by supporting House Resolution 698 this session. This is the critical first step in restoring the sovereignty of our Southern Border.   

Mac Collins is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representative.   Congressman Collins served 12 years in Congress, and in the Republican leadership of the House as a member of the Republican Steering Committee, and as Deputy Majority Whip. He was also a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Intelligence Committee.


"Over a century ago, the Supreme Court correctly confirmed this restricted interpretation of citizenship in the so-called 'Slaughter-House cases' [83 US 36 (1873)] and in [112 US 94 (1884)]. In Elk v. Wilkins, the phrase 'subject to its jurisdiction' excluded from its operation 'children of ministers, consuls, and citizens of foreign states born within the United States.' In Elk, the american Indian claimant was considered not an american citizen because the law required him to be 'not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction and owing them direct and immediate allegiance.'

Congress subsequently passed a special act to grant full citizenship to american Indians, who were not citizens even through they were born within the borders of the United States."

The New amnerican

a Bold Remedy to a Grave Threat

by George Detweiler

October 31, 2005 Issue

 "Congress Has the Power:

It is noteworthy that the Supreme Court affirmed the power of Congress to define terms used in the 14th amendment in the case of Rogers v. Bellei (1971):

The place of birth governs citizenship, except as modified by statute.

The first sentence of the Fourteenth amendment was declaratory of existing law, so far as the qualifications of being born in the United States, being naturalized in the United States, and being subject to its jurisdiction are concerned. [Emphasis added.]

H.R. 698 extends citizenship to children born in the United States of alien parents only if born in wedlock when either parent is a citizen or permanent resident alien who maintains a residence here, or to children born out of wedlock if the mother is a citizen or permanent resident alien who maintains a residence here. It also declares that it applies only to children born after the effective date of the act."

Canada Free Press, CFP Editor Judi McLeod