Time to address the issue of anchor babies

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” That’s been the law since passage of the 14th amendment to the US Constitution in 1868.

The overwhelming majority of the world’s countries do not offer automatic citizenship to everyone born within their borders. Over the past few decades, many countries once did so – including Australia, Ireland, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Malta. No European nation offers automatic citizenship. Only the United States and Canada remain as holdouts.

Recently, “Anchor Babies have been the news. Every year, 300,000 to 400,000 children are born to illegal immigrants in the United States. These usually refer to children born to Hispanic women who give birth in the US despite the foreign citizenship and illegal status of the parent.

However, consider the following: In California, three Chinese-owned “baby care centers” offer expectant mothers a place to give birth to an American citizen for a fee of $14,750, which includes shopping and sightseeing trips. For a $35 daily fee, television, Internet, and three meals are provided. “We don’t encourage moms to break the law — just to take advantage of it,” explains Robert Zhou, the agency’s owner. As discussion about limiting birthright citizenship heats up in the United States some foreign countries are concerned about possible changes. The Nigerian media, for example, recently published an article titled “American Agitations Threaten a Nigerian Practice.” The practice referred to is that of Nigerians traveling to the United States to have a child — a practice that, according to the newspaper, is “spreading so fast that it is close to becoming an obsession.” (Wikipedia)

I believe Congress should take up Immigration reform as an urgent matter. There are many sides to consider in this issue. It will only get worse if they do nothing. I hope America can join the rest of the world and make “Anchor Babies” born to foreign nationals a citizen of their parent’s country.

John W. Merrick

Newnan



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