WASHINGTON – There were an estimated 4.3 million babies born in the United States in 2008 — and 340,000 of them, or 8 percent, were born into families where at least one parent was an illegal immigrant.
The Pew Hispanic Center study, which looks at March 2009 U.S. Census Bureau data, shines a light on the 14th Amendment argument, regarding so-called anchor babies, and whether or not all children born the U.S. should be automatically awarded citizenship despite their parents’ status.
While adult illegal immigrants make up only 4 percent of the U.S. population comparatively, since they are relatively young and have high birthrates, their children make up a higher percentage of the newborn population (8 percent).
The study also found that 7 percent of the youth population in the U.S. (children under the age of 18) were born to one or more unauthorized parents.
Nearly 4 in 5 of those 5.1 million children were born in this country, and therefore, are legal citizens. That means that 4 million children living in the U.S. who were born here to one or more unauthorized parents were automatically awarded citizenship. The remaining 1.1 million children were born elsewhere and living in the United States illegally.
About 85 percent of the parents who are illegal immigrants are Hispanic, according to the Pew Center findings.
The 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868, grants automatic citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. It was initially implemented to grant citizenship to children born of slaves.
That amendment is now the center of another immigration debate, an apparent spinoff of the debate revisited in the furor over Arizona’s new immigration law.
Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce, the sponsor of SB1070, is just one of a group of politicians who have called for the courts to take another look at interpreting the 14th Amendment.
In 2009, immigrants — both legal and unauthorized — made up 12.8 percent of the total population of the United States and 15.7 percent of the total adult population.
According to an Arizona Rasmussen Reports poll taken in July, 64 percent of likely voters said that children born to illegal immigrants should not automatically become citizens of the United States. 26 percent disagreed and say these children should become U.S. citizens.
Across the nation, 58 percent of voters say a child born to an illegal immigrant in this country should not automatically become a citizen of the United States.
The rest of the study examines family and household structure, including fertility rates among immigrant families. Click here for the data: pewhispanic.org/files/reports/125.pdf
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Originally reported by FOX News Chicago. Read the original article here.