Analysis: Anchor Baby Population Far Exceeds One Year of U.S. Births

by JOHN BINDER 18 Mar 2023

The total population of United States citizen children born to illegal aliens now far exceeds one year of American births, a March analysis shows.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) analysis estimates that about 5.4 million “anchor babies,” the term used to describe the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens who are awarded birthright citizenship, reside across the nation.

This indicates that the anchor baby population now exceeds the annual 3.7 million U.S. births by about 1.7 million. Put another way, the number of anchor babies in the U.S. is twice that of Chicago, Illinois’s resident population.

The last estimate of the nation’s anchor baby population came from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in 2017, suggesting that 4.5 million anchor babies resided in the U.S. at the time.

Annually, the Center for Immigration Studies has estimated that nearly 400,000 anchor babies are born to illegal aliens, foreign tourists, foreign visa workers, and foreign students.

The late Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) once denounced the nation’s anchor baby policy:

“If making it easy to be an illegal alien isn’t enough, how about offering a reward for being an illegal immigrant,” Reid said on the Senate floor in 1993:

No sane country would do that
, right? Think again. If you break our laws by entering this [country] without permission and give birth to a child, we reward that child with U.S. citizenship — a guarantee of full access to public and social services that this society provides. [Emphasis added]

To date, the U.S. Supreme Court has never explicitly ruled that the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens must be granted automatic American citizenship, and a number of legal scholars dispute the idea.

Many leading conservative scholars argue the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment does not provide mandatory birthright citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens or noncitizens, because these children are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction as that language was understood when the 14th Amendment was ratified.

Overall, illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children cost American taxpayers more than $150 billion annually.