“Anchor Babies” and RIte Care
Pregnant women routinely arrive in the United States in time to give birth and thereby obtain Social Security numbers for their babies — and with them, permanent entrée into American society and the socio-economic benefits it offers. Once the American-born child turns 21, he or she can sponsor his or her parents and other relatives for citizenship.
Many illegal aliens already in this country make a point of having “anchor babies” that they hope will secure them a permanent status in the United States. During the recent immigration raid at the Michael Bianco factory, in New Bedford, a number of the arrested women who had American-born children were allowed to return to the community, while the childless workers were kept in detention centers.
Changing the law will not be easy. The guarantee of citizenship to any child born on U.S. soil is in a 1952 immigration act and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1868. When Rep. Brian Bilbray (R.-Calif.) first introduced legislation to change the law, in 1995, stopping the anchor-baby phenomenon was considered radical.
Since then, however, our broken immigration system has made the concept more mainstream. Very few countries offer this automatic citizenship. Even France has been tightening up.
Ending the citizenship birthright need not affect any future measures to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. What it would do is end another lure to come here illegally.
Meanwhile, RIte Care is now in the process of implementing more stringent, federal guidelines that seek to prevent illegal aliens from using the system. And although even legal citizens are having a hard time proving their citizenship so that they may participate in RIteCare, the program does cover all children, whether their parents are illegal or not, so long as the kids are U.S. citizens. This is exactly the sort of thing Harrop is talking about. Finally, while the President is currently beginning a new push for “comprehensive immigration reform,” there is no discussion about fundamentally changing the citizenship equation as outlined by Harrop.