Anchor Babies Weigh Heavily On U.S.

Some 124,000 “anchor babies” — children born to illegal aliens in this country – were delivered in the first five months of this year, according to new data.

The latest numbers continue a longstanding pattern of high birthrates – and subsidized hospital costs — by illegal aliens.

In 2014, birthright babies outnumbered the total number of births in 16 states, combined. Taxpayer costs for those births was estimated at $2.4 billion.

Though anchor-baby births dipped to 250,000 in 2016, the latest statistics indicate that the pace is picking back up. As of 2017, an estimated 4.5 million anchor children under age 18 were living in the U.S.

The U.S. and Canada are the only developed nations that still grant birthright citizenship to illegal aliens. President Donald Trump has repeatedly denounced the policy, and the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on the constitutionality of birthright citizenship for the offspring of illegal aliens. Still, the policy persists.

In addition to providing yet another incentive for illegal immigration, America’s birthright citizenship policy has given rise to multimillion-dollar “birth tourism” schemes that entice pregnant women from overseas to have their babies in the States.

“The businesses coach their clients to deceive immigration officials and pay indigent rates at hospitals to deliver their babies, even though many of the clients were wealthy,” The New York Times reported earlier this year.

Ken Cuccinelli, the former Virginia attorney general who took over this week as acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has advocated setting restrictions on birthright citizenship.

About Author


Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.


  1. avatar

    this is sooooo wrong on soooo many levels…we NEED to end this farce…this is getting outrageous

  2. avatar
    Luz Del Pina on

    The conversation always seems to be about birthrights for babies born here. The real conversation should be not changing the law or making new ones, but enforcing the existing ones. The undocumented mother is here illegally. She should be immediately deported back to her country.straight from the hospital She would have the option of taking her “American citizen” or leaving it here in the foster care system. I’m sure the cost of raising the child as an American with an American family even with foster care assistance would be less than the other programs paid to the undocumented mother. It also would remove the incentives for the Anchor babies being born here.

    • avatar

      Why is this an either/or situation? The “real conversation” should definitely be about abolishing birthright citizenship. Why should there be the possibility of any “cost” to the American taxpayer? With birthright citizenship there is always an “incentive” because of the fact that child is a citizen. Ever hear of birth tourism, where the mother flies in and has the baby here just so it will be a citizen? That should not be allowed.

  3. avatar

    Ireland outlawed birthright citizenship by a public vote of 79% in 2004, the last European Union nation to do so. The Supreme Court decision in 1898, Wong Kim Ark, cited as the final word on birthright citizenship, was not the broad mandate many contend it is. It actually came to the high court as a result of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

    The final paragraph of a lengthy decision, and court decisions do not just put words in for no reason, they are there to actually support the argument, pronounced Wong Kim Ark’s parents were what we now know as permanent residents. It said they “have a permanent domicil and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business”.

    You can’t just dismiss whatever part of a decision you don’t like and it’s beyond dispute that his parents were here legally, had been for a long time, and were known to the authorities in California. Having used that reasoning it’s hard to believe that the court would have considered that the child of someone who had just illegally crossed the border and was here without permission, would be a citizen. That scenario is a reward for criminal behavior. And also a situation they could not have foreseen, with the ease which one can gain entry to this country now , compared to then when it was a long and difficult journey. No one was coming just for the financial goodies, which didn’t exist, that anchor babies bring now.

    • avatar

      The Open Border Party Understands Your Take Leland

      But their goal is make America a 3rd World Country SH%!HOLE….so the Snow Flakes tell you to shut-up, you’re positive attitude may kill their dream…

  4. avatar

    In addition to providing yet another incentive for illegal immigration, America’s birthright citizenship policy has given rise to multimillion-dollar “birth tourism” schemes that entice pregnant women from overseas to have their babies in the States.