Crossing the border to give birth [new title]

Around these parts (esp as you get closer to the border),I’ve always heard that a large number of Hispanics living in Texas are sort of illegal. Wait a minute…let me explain. They are illegal but their KIDS aren’t. The myth is that a lot of pregnant Hispanic women will do anything,including risking death by crossing the Rio Grande,to have their kids born in America because if they are American citizens,they can qualify for such subsidies as Medicare/Medicaide,etc.
Is this even remotely true?If so…what’s the percentage on this thing?
I tried Googling it but came up with very little usable information.Maybe I just wasn’t asking the right question.:confused:

Most countries, including the US, automatically extend citzenship to someone born within their borders, no matter what their parents orgins or if their mother was in the country legally or not.

I don’t know anything about whether or how often pregnant women cross the border so that their children can be born in the United States. But it is true that, under the 14th amendment, a child born on American soil is a citizen even if the parents are not:

Ok…so if that’s true(which according to the 14th Amendment it is),how often does it happen?
There are a LOT of Hispanics around here and it just makes me wonder,is all.

But what happens if the parents don’t want their kids to be American citizens? If, say, a pregnant Canadian woman was visiting friends in the US when she went into labor?

Here is an old article about the practice in California. It confirms that if the baby is born in the US they are born U.S. citizens regardless of the legal status of their mothers.

Any search for “anchor babies” will find you plenty of sources. CAIR has links to lots of immigration stuff. It includes an estimate of 200,000 a year.

from here,

Here is a “fair and balanced” (snicker) story that supports that claim.

that FAIR number would be probably be the ceiling number as they’re quite anti anchor

Too damn bad, the kid is a citizen! :slight_smile:

However, the mom can take the kid back to Canada and never mention the place of birth, and all should be well.

I don’t know, however, what the statis of the baby’s Canadian citizenship would be. Most likely, if both parennts are Canadians, the baby will be also, regardless of place of birth. But this is only a guess.

I’m curious about the “most countries” comment above. Is it, in fact, the practice for most countries to extend citizenship based on jus soil or by jus pater. Sorry if I messed up the terms, but that’s the best I can remember the words for them. Feel free, if you know, to correct them.

The baby can renounce US citizenship and become a Canadian citizen because it is under the age of 18 and its parents are Canadians.

There was a cite I read a few years ago that the vast majority of babies born in Los Angeles County hospitals were born to illegal alien mothers.

Of course, that was a few years ago, so the percentage is much higher now.

I’ll try and find a cite for that, by the way.

Oh, and here’s a slight hijack: If the mother is illegal and the baby is considered legal by deign of being born in this country, shouldn’t the mother still be deported when she is caught?

Please give a cite, as I’ve read that the US is one of the only countries in the world that gives citizenship to the offspring of illegal aliens.

You register the birth with the consulate of your country. Since the U.S. no longer recognizes dual citizenship, the baby is no longer a U.S. citizen, despite being born here. It wasn’t always thus. Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco when his parents were touring with a Chinese Opera company. Later, according to top 100 Hereos & Icons, “He was part of a small gang that was big enough to cause his mother to ship him to America before his 18th birthday so he could claim his dual-citizenship and avoid winding up in jail.” But the U.S. no longer recognizes dual citizenship. However, I think it is possible for a minor (let’s say our above American-born Canadian baby, now 17) to state that he/she wishes to renounce their current citizenship and become a U.S. citizen. I’m not positive, but it sounds good. However, once our baby is, say, fifity years old, I don’t think that such a thing would be possible. They would have to immigrate just like anyone else.

Well, yes, the U.S. definitely considers children born on its soil to be citizens (it doesn’t “give citizenship” except through naturalization), and it definitely is one of the only countries in the world! :wink: As to how many allow the children of non-citizens born in that country to be citizens, you’d want to google on “jus soli” or on “citizenship by birth” and find out which countries extend it. From the fact that it has a Latin lawyerly name, I’d venture to guess that it’s a part of the civil law derived from Rome, and that most European and New World nations do it – but that’s a WAG based on a supposition from the naming. Israel is probably the classic example of the jus patri (in this case, that should be “matri”) where the right of the father or mother to citizenship automatically extends to the child, though many other countries, including IIRC the U.S. extend this as well.

And note that citizenship by birth on U.S. soil extends to the offspring of any U.S. resident or visitor – if the Queen of Denmark should visit here while pregnant and go into labor, her son would be a U.S. citizen by birth, as would the child of a German couple living here on a visa because he’s the North American representative of the company he works for.

As for the hypothetical Canadian child born south of the border noted above, I would presume that Canadian law provides that the child of two Canadians born off Canadian soil is entitled to Canadian citizenship – so the kid is legally a dual citizen, entitled to U.S. citizenship as well as Canadian.

I will grant that giving birth to an “anchor child” is a pretty good scam to enable someone to gain legal residency – but I’m wondering why it’s such a critical concern for so many people. Would someone be willing to essay a GQ-style answer on what provokes the degree of apparent asperity that this issue evidently does?

This is completely wrong. The baby IS a US citizen. The US government DOES recognize dual citizenship. Here is my cite.

My cousin is actually EXACTLY like the hypothetical Canadian baby being discussed.

His parents (my aunt and uncle) are both Canadian - while visiting her brother in North Dakota (Fargo, if memory serves), my aunt gave birth to my cousin. He now has dual citizenship - he currently lives in Florida with his wife and children.

However, I was under the impression that the US had done away with this in recent years, but hadn’t grandfathered it. Meaning, new, hypothetical Canadian babies don’t have the same option, but the dual citizenship was never yanked from my cousin.

Sadly, I have no cites for any of this, other than my cousin, who, of course, none of you know.

Anyhow - trust me. That’s how it worked for him.

A slight hijack:

Doesn’t an alien who wishes to become an American have to renounce his foreign citizenship? I’m not talking babies or minors, I mean adults. I am very curious about this.

Well, I feel like my question has been answered.

I think this is one of those official policies that no one enforces. I think. My best friend had dual citizenship with the US and France. Born in the US, French mother. When she was 18 the US govt. told her that she had to choose, that she wasn’t allowed dual citizenship. So she told the US that she’d be American, and France that she’d be French. No one seems to really care. I wonder if she might get in trouble if she’s “caught” with two passports, but so far no one from either government has given her any trouble over it.

I stand corrected. As Hermann Cheruscan points out, you are asked to renounce all other citizenship when you become a naturalized U.S. citizen. I think that is at least partly what confused me. But some countries to not recognize the renunciation. Furthermore, as has been pointed out, the moment you are born in the U.S., you are a citizen. If you later want to become a citizen if another country, you can probably do so without jepordizing your U.S. citizenship.