Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has unveiled a proposal to halt the United States’ controversial “anchor baby” citizenship policy. Federal law currently grants birthright American citizenship to the U.S.-born offspring of illegal immigrants.
This regulation sees nearly 400,000 of these so-called “anchor babies” born nationwide each year. These children are given birthright citizenship regardless of their parents’ status. They can sponsor their parents and foreign relatives for “green card” permanent residency status when they reach adulthood. This has led to misuse of the immigration system, creating an “anchor” for their family in the United States for generations.
Birthright Citizenship has been abused in our country for too long.
Here’s how to fix it. https://t.co/yIFZFAozgD
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) July 25, 2023
Rep. Gaetz’s “End Birthright Citizenship Fraud Act of 2023″ seeks to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), clarifying that birthright citizenship should be reserved solely for U.S.-born children of American citizens and legal immigrants.
This Act is being introduced against the backdrop of an ongoing debate among legal scholars about the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment and whether it indeed mandates birthright citizenship for the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens. Those in favor of the bill argue that the clause does not guarantee citizenship to such children as they are not subject to U.S. legal jurisdiction in the way the Amendment’s authors intended.
In contrast to the U.S. and Canada, developed countries such as Australia, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand and Spain reserve birthright citizenship for children born to at least one citizen parent. America’s current policy, despite its seeming inclusivity, has been critiqued for its susceptibility to exploitation, thus necessitating Rep. Gaetz’s proposed legislation.
The introduction of the “End Birthright Citizenship Fraud Act of 2023” signals an essential step in safeguarding American citizenship, treating it not as a loophole to be exploited but a privilege to be earned. “American citizenship is a privilege –– not an automatic right to be co-opted by illegal aliens,” said Gaetz.
The U.S., currently home to around 5.8 million anchor babies, bears the substantial economic burden of this policy, costing taxpayers more than $150 billion annually. Critics of birthright citizenship argue that it encourages illegal immigration, imposes an undue burden on taxpayers, and undermines the concept of national sovereignty.
This bill is set to undergo rigorous debate in the House of Representatives as it seeks to rectify what many conservatives view as a gross misapplication of birthright citizenship. If passed, it could significantly shift America’s immigration policy, impacting future generations of immigrants and preserving the sanctity of American citizenship.