Birth Tourism Prompts Nationwide Debate

By: Staff
Staff Writer
Published: Sep 6, 2010

Birth Tourism prompts nationwide debate over immigration policy.

Birth Tourism prompts nationwide debate. Birth and tourism in the U.S. is creating debate over the 14th Amendment. Republicans want to change the measure because they believe it encourages birth to grant automatic citizenship.

Tourism and babies born in the United States by illegal immigrants are prompting nationwide debate. Republicans are pushing to change the 14th Amendment. They believe the measure is being abused by illegal immigrants and encouraging birth rates.

However, a closer examination of the issue shows that the trend is not as dramatic as some immigration opponents have claimed. Most children of illegal immigrants are born to parents who have made the United States their home for years, although they are in the country illegally. Out of 340,000 babies born to illegal immigrants in the United States in 2008, 85 percent of the parents had been in the country for more than a year, and more than half for at least five years.

In addition, experts say it's extraordinarily rare for immigrants to come to the U.S. just so they can have babies and get citizenship. In most cases, they come to the U.S. for economic reasons and better hospitals, and end up staying and raising families. Under current immigration law, parents who are in the country illegally don't get U.S. citizenship even though their children are Americans.