What You Should Know About Anchor Babies

The term “anchor babies” (regarded by some as derogatory) refers to the practice of a child being born to non-citizen parents in a country with birthright citizenship (for instance: The United States) to later apply for the family’s legal home under the theory of family/relative reunification.

Legal authors and anti-immigrant commentators have published several studies investigating anchor kids’ legitimacy and ascertaining the pros and cons.

In general, an anchor baby is a child birthed to an undocumented or illegal immigrant parent, particularly in the USA, who, by birth, receives automatic citizenship and sponsors the naturalization of additional family members into the United States of America.

The jus soli (the right of soil) concept states that any child born in the U.S. instantly becomes a citizen of the country.

Section 1 of the 14 Amendment states that:

“All people naturalized or born in the United States, inhabitants of the U.S., as well as the state and county in which they reside are disposed to their authority and jurisdiction.”

Any State may pass or enforce legislation limiting certain rights and advantages United States citizens enjoy.

Being comprehensive, the jus soli doctrine grants anybody the right to citizenship in the United States simply by birth; as a result, citizenship becomes a birthright.

However, the jus sanguinis idea is limited in its applicability and is closely similar. This is in accord with the idea that it only determines citizenship in terms of blood.

The law governing citizenship in the United States allows for both jus soli & jus sanguines citizenship and naturalization, i.e., the transition from being a lawful permanent and secured resident to being a citizen.

As a result, the above public discussion has centered on changes to these concepts that would effectively propose an amendment to the United States Constitution. 

There have been efforts made in this direction. For example, the bill proposed by Republican Representative Elton Gallegly of Simi Valley, California, in June 1995 that would have eliminated automatic nationality/citizenship for children born in the United States whose parents aren’t on the official immigration document was unsuccessful. 

Several pieces of legislation have also been passed, including the United States Citizens Reform Act of 2005 and the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007.

A report has been written that a startlingly large proportion of undocumented mothers have these kids to use them as “anchors” to prevent their deportation. However, it has been claimed that this allegation is unfounded on the above grounds. 

First, there is no solid proof that such unregistered female parents actually employ this scheme. Second, there is no real reason why such a plan would work to prevent deportation of any form—the latter results from how good the process is in practice. 

This is because a baby-like individual might not be capable of supporting their parents in any way, let alone at any convenient time. They are permitted by law to apply to reunite with family members, a procedure that may take many years to accomplish. 

Conservative lawmakers since have suggested an amendment to the United States. Constitution that would retroactively revoke children’s citizenship if one’s parents aren’t registered residents at the moment of the delivery, even though there is little to no evidence that the anchor baby strategy is widely used. 

As a result, the legislation was to have an impact on The Government will remove these kids at any moment in the kids’ lives & under the law.

Why Is The Term “Anchor Babies” Deemed Offensive? 

There are two reasons why people take the word to be offensive. 

One is that it indicates a 2-tiered level of citizenship where some persons are actual U.S. citizens while others are merely adult anchor babies, which is against the Constitution and the law.

The second is that as it is undeniably true that both unauthorized immigrants and people with temporary visas give birth to children, the suggestion that these children are usually the result of a sly, long-term attempt to manipulate and use the immigration process instead of the typical ties of familial love is slightly unrealistic and offensive.

Major Ways On How Anchor Babies Are Achieved

Birth Tourism 

Birth tourism is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. 

Foreign women, primarily from China and Russia, are paid a huge sum of money to temporarily move to the United States during their pregnancies to deliver in the country and ensure that their kids would be granted the United States. Citizenship. 

These are nearly invariably wealthy ladies who can pay for this treatment, and having dual citizenship with the United States and dual passports is regarded as a status symbol back home.

Immigration authorities and the U.S. federal government are working to stop this method. However, as was already noted, coming to the U.S. to give birth is not inherently against the law. 

But as this act has gained popularity, a sector has emerged that helps pregnant women get visas, accommodations, and healthcare in the United States. 

The Homeland Security Department and Immigration & Customs become engaged with these visa applications because the ladies frequently give bogus reasons for their journey to the United States. 

To obtain the treasured benefit of the United States. Citizenship and foreigners subvert American laws, which is how federal officials frame their worry about birth tourism. 

It’s a legitimate worry; however, I must point out that these “tourists” aim to enter this nation under the pretenses of obtaining citizenship for their children, just like they would stroll into Tiffany’s and purchase a rattle covered with jewels. 

It is desired as an accouterment rather than a chance to improve or save one’s life. Furthermore, I would be negligent if I failed to remark that the anti-immigration group is not as outraged by this pointless theft of one of America’s most prized possessions—the right to citizenship.

How Can Anchor Babies Aid Immigrants Into The United States? 

An immigrant visa is required for foreign nationals who wish to settle in the United States. Any foreign national sponsored by close family members who are 21 years old and above, a United States citizen, or has a lawful residency permit (holder of a green card), is eligible to apply for an immigrant visa. 

An American citizen may apply for the immigrant visa on behalf of the relatives listed below:

  • Brother or sister.  
  • Son or daughter
  • Parent; spouse
  • Spouse

Only a spouse or unmarried child of a legal permanent resident may file a petition for an immigrant visa. Therefore, having a citizen child is unquestionably favorable for a parent applying for an immigrant visa. 

Additionally, a citizen kid may be significant if an undocumented and unregistered alien is in any of the following circumstances: 

  • This alien is through a proper removal process;
  • This alien has resided in the United States continuously for ten or over ten years; 
  • This alien hasn’t in any way been found guilty of specified crimes
  • This alien is an individual whose deportation or removal would put a citizen relative, particularly a child, through “extraordinary and exceedingly unusual suffering.” 

Any immigration judge can award the alien legal status if all four requirements are satisfied. Thus, having a citizen child can favor an undocumented alien living there for a long time. 

Which Nations Grant Citizenship With Conditions? 

Given that certain conditions are met, just like having a parent who is a citizen or a lawful resident, many nations confer citizenship to those born on their soil. 

For instance, the Dominican Republic’s Constitution expressly prohibits bestowing citizenship to those living there unlawfully and their children. 

Likewise, according to Malaysia’s Constitution, a kid born there must be the offspring of a permanent foreign resident. Australia, Colombia, & Ireland are more nations that grant citizens conditional birthright citizenship.

Which Nations Have Altered Their Citizenship By Birthright Regulations? 

Yes, many nations have altered their legal systems, with the majority usually introducing restrictions on birthright citizenship. A prime example is the nation of France, which, in contrast to its neighbors in Europe, had unrestricted birthright citizenship until 1993. 

Foreign-born children birthed in France today must apply for French citizenship at age eighteen rather than being granted it after birth as they once were. 

The U.K., widely regarded as the origin of birthright citizenship, changed its citizenship requirements in 1983 and now requires that at least a parent be lawfully residing in the country. Birthright citizenship was abolished in Malta and India.

Is It Prohibited For Foreigners To Travel To The United States To Give Birth? 

A law was enacted that, as of 2020, permits the rejection of a tourist visa to applicants from countries other than the 39 countries, mainly in Europe and Asia, that are members of the Visa Waiver Program (which allows citizens of those countries to come to the U.S. without a visa for temporary stays). 

Only candidates for so-called “B” class visas, which allow brief visits for business or pleasure, are subject to the requirement.

Pregnant women may not be granted a visa unless they demonstrate their need to travel to the United States to give birth and their financial ability to cover the cost of their medical care. 

Or, if they have another compelling cause for traveling, they might be granted a visa—just not for the express purpose of obtaining American citizenship for their child. 

The owners of birth tourism facilities or agencies in the United States have reportedly been detained in situations involving visa fraud or tax evasion.

What Changes Might Be Made To Birthright Citizenship? 

There are essentially three methods: 

1. The Supreme Court (or another court in the future) might decide that people who enter the country illegally are not “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” and that their children are not U.S. citizens in the sense of the 14th Amendment as a result. The fact that neither the Amendment’s writers nor the justices in the Wong Kim Ark case had undocumented migration in mind would support this little unusual interpretation of the text. 

2. There are bills in Congress from Sen. David Vitter and Rep. Steve King that aim to “clarify” the definition of birthright citizenship and deny it to children of undocumented immigrants. 

3. A constitutional amendment could specify a minimum duration of parental residency, but constitutional modifications are challenging to pass. 

An alternative would be for the U.S. to outright prohibit pregnant people from obtaining temporary visas to enter the country. However, this might harm global trade and encourage retaliation from other states. 

Furthermore, a limited solution to the birth tourism issue will not solve the political problem Bush and Rubio are facing, which is how to show support for Trump’s supporters without alienating Latino votes.

The Pros And Cons Of Anchor Babies

The achievement of human rights inherent in it is achieved by having a legal pathway via which unregistered or documented workers and their families can get citizenship. 

The demeaning status and conditions that form the focus of the group mentioned above of guys are considered. 

Undeniably, these people live in continual fear of being apprehended, receiving poor treatment, and being imprisoned, which harms every aspect of their lives, from housing to schooling to health care.

The Pros

Freedom From Mistreatment And Fear 

Through the cautious enforcement of their socioeconomic rights, such as their access to better work, housing, and other necessities, immigrants could improve their lives and living standards without fear, according to S.1348 of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform. 

The great ideals of equality and liberty in the United States are centered around just that. 

The Cons

Unattainable Route To Citizenship 

One serious drawback of anti-anchor baby beliefs, a virulent vice that is still reflected in section 1348[2], is that it makes it impossible for the vast majority of the country’s illegal immigrants to become citizens, leading to a rise in the number of millions of low-wage workers who are not allowed to vote.

The rule stipulates that an immigrant must pay $2,000 in “processing costs,” arbitrary terms for people who make low wages, and $5,000 in upfront fines. 

Additionally, it is necessary for the head of the household, which is typically the salary earner, to leave the United States and then return. However, the financial ability to do this would be minimal, and those who did so stood the danger of losing their jobs. 

Population Overgrowth 

Another potential drawback is population increase, which is a significant obstacle to efforts to regulate the U.S. population to enable the sustainability of the environment and a significant driver of illegal immigration.


Denying people their birthright citizenship raises essential considerations. Giorgio Agamben asks, “Who and what is German?” in Homo Sacer. For example, “Who and what is not German.” 

The complexity of this situation is that a citizen’s rights and advantages are not unchangeable in the modern world. Individually, people’s ability to be delivered into a nation may not be as absolute and alienable as previously thought.

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