Study: 340,000 Babies Were Born to Illegal Immigrant Parents in 2008
A Pew Hispanic Center study released today provides hard numbers to the debate about the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship for children born to illegal immigrants. Of the 4.3 million babies born in the U.S. in 2008, 340,000 — or about 8 percent — were born to illegal immigrant parents. Without the 14th Amendment, many of these children would be undocumented.
The study of Census Bureau data found that 4 million U.S.- born children with illegal immigrant parents resided in the U.S. in 2009. While illegal immigrants make up about 4 percent of the adult population, due to higher birth rates their children make up 8 percent of the newborn population and 7 percent of the under-18 population, according to the study.
Some Republicans, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham, have said the 14th Amendment should be changed to prevent it from acting as a draw to illegal immigrants. But without automatic citizenship for children born in the U.S., many of these children, like their parents, would be undocumented, adding to the illegal immigrant population in the U.S.