anchor baby (definition):  is a pejorative term for a child born in the United States to immigrant parents, who, as an American citizen, supposedly can later facilitate immigration for relatives.  (wikipedia)

According to the 14th Amendment, “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.” But [Rep. Steve]King argues that was not meant to include children of undocumented immigrants.

Who is this King Clown?

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an outspoken hardliner on immigration, introduced a bill on Thursday that would “clarify those classes of individuals born in the United States who are nationals and citizens of the United States at birth.” The Supreme Court has consistently held that anyone born in the United States, regardless of their parents’ immigration status, should receive citizenship under the 14th Amendment.

King vehemently disagrees and argues that the framers (sic) didn’t intend for the children of illegal immigrants to receive automatic birth citizenship.

“The framers did not consider the babies of illegals when they framed the 14th amendment because we didn’t have immigration law at the time so they could not have wanted to confer automatic citizenship on the babies of people who were unlawfully in the United States,” he told CityView in November 2010.

King has introduced new legislation to do away with birthright citizenship.

“We need a common sense solution to fix the flawed interpretation of the Constitution’s citizenship clause, and ‘The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2013’ does just that,” he said in a statement on Friday. “The current practice of extending U.S. citizenship to hundreds of thousands of ‘anchor babies’ must end because it creates a magnet for illegal immigration into our country. Now is the time to ensure that the laws in this country do not encourage law breaking.”

King will probably not get very far with his efforts.  Eric Canter sets the legislative calender and  did not respond to inquiries as to whether the bill would make it to the floor.  It is expected that King’s efforts will simply get rolled over as a major  initiative to overhaul  national immigration policy  begins to take shape.  King and his colleagues look like salmon swimming upstream on this one.



20 Thoughts to “‘The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2013’ –No more ‘anchor’ babies?”

  1. Pat.Herve

    and who is going to pay for all this regulation and bureaucracy that it will require to verify the citizenship status of every child born in the US every year? 4.3 Million in 2007, which is also the same high for 2 of the baby boom years.

    Why would this regulation be good for the economy, but clean water and air is bad?

  2. Apparently food inspection and agricultural standards aren’t seen as a good thing either.

    Go figure.

    This dude just wants to get his hate on, it sounds like.

    I wonder if Latino voters will see this bill as hostile?

  3. Scout

    It certainly happens that some people come to the US specifically to give birth here and thus confer US citizenship on their children. NPR recently had a piece about a place in California doing a business in providing a birthing place for Chinese clients. However, I have never seen any data indicating that this is a significant problem affecting a significant number of people. It always seems like one of these boogey-man issues designed to play on the minds of the fearful, small-minded, bigoted and/or uninformed. If someone could throw up a lot of solid numbers that indicated that it is a much bigger problem than I appreciate, I’d be willing to take another look.

    I frankly am rather proud of our birthright citizenship traditions. Some other nations have the same approach, but our embrace of the principle is well set in our determination to vanquish the legacy of slavery. I’d hate to see us abandon it without overwhelmingly good reason.

  4. Lyssa

    Well since Canada and the US are the only developed countries to grant automatic citizenship at birth we could ask any one of the other 23 or so how they do it.

    I am beginning to realize that the US is experiencing growing pains – I just hope the good guys win again.

  5. @Scout

    Then there is this notion that since forever one of the main reasons people come to America is to have a better life for their children. I see it as a rather positive affirmation of what a great country this is, rather than something devious and deceptive.

    I saw something about that birthing center for Chinese women. I am not sure how that hurts the United States. It sounds like we are getting new citizens with the genetics of highly motivated people who want success for their children.

    I have to stop and ask myself what’s bad about that.

    The only possible grouse I can think of is that the people who are being ‘birthed’ here are ‘others.’ That has always been a problem in this country whether the ‘otherness’ is bases on religion, skin tone, country of origin, custom, etc.

  6. Scout

    I actually don’t see any particular problem with the facts reported in the NPR piece. It does, however, confirm that there are people in the world to whom US citizenship is an attractive enough proposition that they would go out of their way to have a child here. Nonetheless, I have never seen this as a big issue. I have several friends who are European citizens who happened to live here when one or more of their kids were born. The children are very proud of their dual Euro/US citizenship.

    1. I am trying to find one thing about this article that I think is bad for America. I can’t. It speaks of middle class people who want their children to have every chance. Parents like this expect their children to excell. It sounds to me like some rather desirable little anchor citizens to me.

      There women are coming to America to have children. In some cases they would be force to have abortions because of the 1 child law. It also sounds like it is good for the economy.

      Just another side of capitalism.

  7. Scout

    The countries that will succeed economically in the 21st Century are ones that can attract a broad range of productive immigrants, at all levels of the labor hierarchy. Birthright citizenship might help entice people to emigrate.

  8. Starryflights

    Gotta love these constitutional purists who scold us for failing to adhere to the constitution, except for when they fail to do so.

    1. Too funny, Starry, but also good point.

      I have read in the past how that isn’t really what the “framers” (sic) meant. I guess born doesn’t mean born.

  9. Scout

    Of course, birthright citizenship as an explicit component of the Constitution came almost three score and change years into the existence of the Republic. But it confirmed that a consistent practice since the founding also applied to Freedmen.

  10. Rick Bentley

    “It sounds to me like some rather desirable little anchor citizens to me. ”

    BETTER citizens than kids the rest of us would have?

    Their parents contribute to a swelling underclass and degradation of labor value.

    You’re saying it’s offset because you believe their kids will be better than the rest of us?

    1. No, not better than the rest of us but definitely better than some of us as far as prediction for success goes.
      Sorry, there are a lot of lazy Americans out there who don’t make their kids do well in school or hold them to any standards at all.

      So tell me again why rich Chinese women contribute to an underclass?

      I would say some do some don’t. How about if you can’t get anyone else to do some of the work?

  11. Rick Bentley

    That’s not the case with most illegal immigrants. They are doing jobs at poverty wages; displacing American workers from professions they used to be able to earn livings at (cooking, cleaning, landscaping).

    1. According to the numbers, most new illegal immigrants come from asian countries.

      I don’t know. We need to reform immigration policies. Maybe if people had a way to enter the country legally that would help.

  12. blue


    “Maybe if people had a way to enter the country legally that would help.”

    They do, but it is not convient for them!

    1. Actually many people do NOT have a way to enter the country legally. We have discussed this many time.

      Some can’t even get a visa to come here.

  13. Scout

    One of the key elements of immigration reform is to make the process as user-friendly as it possibly can be made. The process is mindlessly, needlessly difficult and unusable for most people. We are absolutely not competitive globally on this.

  14. blue


    Actually, if they do not have a criminal record, they can get a vistors visa rather easilly. Immigration is distributed by nation and by occupational need to contribute to our diversity and strengthen our economic capabilities. Those who argue for open immigation simply favor those who can sneak accross over those who otherwise play by the rules.

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