On his syndicated radio show Thursday, Rush Limbaugh noted that the United States is one of only two countries that give automatic citizenship to children born on their land.
Limbaugh quoted an article published in March by The Fiscal Times. “Among developed nations, only the U.S. and Canada still offer automatic citizenship to children born on their soil. Not a single European country follows the practice,” author Liz Peek wrote. The article continued:
We take this right for granted, but the evidence is that this entitlement encourages a booming birth tourism business (which undermines our immigration objectives) and virtually guarantees that the number of people in the country illegally will continue to grow.
“Did you know that?” Limbaugh asked his audience rhetorically. “In other words, let’s say that you live in Morocco, and you want to go to London. You go to London, you’re a woman and you get pregnant, you give birth, your kid is not a citizen of the U.K. The United States and Canada still are the only countries, developed nations, that offer automatic citizenship to children born on their soil. Not a single European country follows the practice.”
“For prosperous Chinese or residents of unstable countries like Russia, an American passport represents an invaluable safety net,” Peek wrote. “Some estimate that as many as 40,000 children from all over the world are born under such circumstances in the U.S. each year. Over time, with family members climbing aboard, the total allowed into the country multiples.”
Once those babies turn 21, and if they are in the country, they can sponsor other family members to enter the U.S. Under our law, which promotes family unification, parents, siblings and minor children of a U.S. citizen are welcome. According to a report from John Feere of the Center for Immigration Studies, admitting family members account for most of the nation’s growth in immigration levels. Of the 1,130,818 immigrants who were granted legal permanent residency in 2009, a total of 747,413 (or, 66 percent) were family-sponsored immigrants.
The issue of birthright citizenship has recently come to the forefront among the Republican presidential candidates. Donald Trump, for example, has proposed an immigration plan that would revoke birthright citizenship altogether. In an interview with Bill O’Reilly Tuesday, Trump contended the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee birthright citizenship. Another so-called top tier candidate, Gov. Scott Walker, agrees.
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But former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida said Tuesday that birthright citizenship is a “constitutionally protected right” and “doesn’t support revoking it.” Former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina believes it would take a constitutional amendment to revoke birthright citizenship. “It’s part of our 14th Amendment. So honestly, I think we should put all of our energies, all of our political will into finally getting the border secured and fixing the legal immigration,” she told NBC News Monday.
What is your stance on birthright citizenship? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.