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Immigration Hot Issues: Birthing Tourism and "Anchor Babies"

Presidential candidates – most notably Donald Trump and Jeb Bush – have begun using the term “anchor baby” – which many people find highly offensive – to describe a child born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents. In effect, the idea is that the baby will “anchor” that parent there, keeping them in place and preventing deportation.

There is also concern over birthing tourism – the act of a pregnant immigrant to legally enter the country on a temporary visa, only to remain there until she gives birth. The idea behind this concept is that the child will automatically have earned citizenship whereas its parent was not intended to stay in the country.

While these two acts – by whatever name they may be known by – are certainly happening, are they as big of a concern as some GOP candidates claim? Or is this just exaggeration to boost support?

A Professional Opinion on the Matter

The Los Angeles Times has recently published an article regarding current immigration hot button issues – you can read it in full here – in which they consult with Greg Chen, the director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). He believes the political debate has inappropriately skewed the public’s opinion on these matters, making them seem like a larger problem than they actually are. He states that “immigration enforcement is already attuned to” these fraudulent practices and are putting resources into combating them wherever necessary.

The article continues to explain that the concept behind “anchor babies” and “birthing tourism” is inherently flawed. A child born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents does not guarantee that its parents won’t be deported. In fact, children who are citizens need to be at least 21 before they can officially sponsor a parent to keep them in the country.

At David F. Vedder, P.A., our Daytona Beach immigration attorneys closely follow these stories out of professional interest. If you have any questions about your rights as an immigrant in the United States – or if you need legal advocacy right away about a sensitive immigration litigation issue – call 386.968.8880 to retain our counsel.