Anchor Babies Debate

Topics: Immigration to the United States, Illegal immigration, Illegal immigration to the United States Pages: 5 (1819 words) Published: April 7, 2007
Illegal Immigration: Is it truly all that bad?
Illegal immigration into the United States from its southern border country, Mexico has drawn the attention of many over the last few years. Since 9-11 border security and national security have given notice to the immigration activity from Mexican citizens into the United States typically through either California or Texas borderlines. With these immigrants comes a host of benefits and problems that must be evaluated to determine if this immigration activity should be more strictly controlled in some manner. One issue is the fact that children born in the United States to illegal immigrants are automatically granted U.S. citizenship and all the rights thereof. These "anchor babies" number 200,000 each year. Should these illegal immigrants' children born in the U.S. be allowed to become naturalized citizens? Let's review the benefits and problems associated with illegal immigration and anchor babies in the United States. Providing illegal immigrants' children born in the U.S. citizenship will avoid social unrest by immigrants. These anchor babies as they are labeled by some are automatically granted citizenship to the USA. Through this grant the immigrants gain a sense of acceptance and homeland allegiance that spawns happiness and a sense of future opportunity. By embracing all babies at birth as Americans, the nation has avoided the societal unrest that has festered in France, where even French-born children of Arab and other legal immigrants do not automatically become citizens until they reach 18. Resentment and discrimination from that segregated status is blamed for contributing to the rage that exploded into riots in recent weeks across France. (Hoffman, 2005) The right to citizenship granted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution is a fundamental basis of our country and as such should remain without change. The amendment originally authored to allow former slaves to become legal citizens of the U.S. should not be changed to attempt to control what is simply a border control issue. U.S Citizenship being granted through the fourteenth amendment, when a child is birthed inside its borders, "is a concept that should remain sacrosanct. If we change that simple and straightforward process we open the door for all manner of re-interpretation at any given time. And that would undermine the very basis of being an American" (Hutson, 2005).

Illegal immigrants in the U.S. are adding value to the country's economy and therefore should be encouraged to remain. One means of encouragement is the birth right citizenship being provided the children born on U.S. soil. "A landmark National Academy of Sciences report found that immigrants contribute more than $10 billion annually to the economy. Other estimates range as high as $80 billion" (Kerpen, 2005). Immigrant workers have provided inexpensive labor that has allowed for the growth of many small businesses. The U.S. government has reaped the financial benefits that illegal immigrants are providing through taxes which improves social services and keeps our tax increases under control. "An immigrant and his or her children will pay on average about $80,000 more in taxes during their lifetimes than they collect in government services….In 1997, the U.S. reaped a $50 billion surplus from taxes paid by immigrants" (Immigration, n.d.). If the immigrants obtain a college degree they will line the pockets of government with "$198,000 more in taxes during their lifetime then they collect in government services" (Immigration, n.d.). Illegal immigration is good business for the U.S. government. Social Security programs are well funded by illegal immigrants who pay much more than they receive from the system. Keeping the current level of immigrants the same the social security taxes paid by immigrants versus the benefits they receive is nearly "$500 billion for the 1998-2022 period and nearly $2.0 trillion through 2072"...

References: Adams, S.A. (1993, September). The basic right of citizenship: A comparative study. Center for Immigration Studies. Retrieved December 1, 2005, from
Birthright Citizenship. (n.d.). Web site: Numbers USA. Retrieved November 30, 2005, from
Breaking the Piggy Bank: How Illegal Immigration is Sending Schools into the Red. (n.d.) Federation for American Immigration Reform. Retrieved December 1, 2005, from
Cosman, M.P. (2005, Spring). Illegal aliens and American medicine. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Vol 10. Number 1. pp. 6-10.
Feldmann, L. (2005, December 1). The fractious politics of immigration. [Electronic Version] The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved December 10, 2005, from
Hoffman, L. (2005, November 18). A move to deny citizenship to U.S. –born kids of illegal immigrants. Web site: Sitnews. Retrieved November 30, 2005, from
Hutson, W.T. (2005, November 12). Born here means automatic US citizenship – should we change that? Web site: Renew America. Retrieved November 30, 2005, from
Immigration and National Security. (n.d.). Federation for American Immigration Reform. Retrieved December 1, 2005, from
Immigration: the American way. (n.d.). Web site: People for the American Way. Retrieved November 30, 2005, from
Kerpen, P. (2005, October 17). Nativism and the immigration issue. [Electronic Version] The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 30, 2005, from
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