One Out of Every 12 Babies Born In the U.S. Born To Illegal Immigrants
Confession: my own son was technically born to at least one illegal immigrant in 2003 as his father had spent the last 15+ years battling the United States for the green card he'd been promised as a Nicaraguan refugee who escaped his hometown in the late 80s to avoid certain death through civil war. Nicaraguans who fled to the U.S. before 1995 were supposed to receive political amnesty but tell that to my son's father, who only recently became an American after finally receiving a green card some time after our son's birth. Don't get me started on the thousands of dollars thrown away to immigration lawyers along the way.
Anyway, back to the real illegal immigrants.
One of about every 12 babies born in the United States in 2008 was the offspring of unauthorized immigrants, a Pew Hispanic Center study released Wednesday concluded.
According to the study, an estimated 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in this country that year had parents who were in the United States without legal documentation.
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution stipulates that those children automatically become U.S. citizens, but some members of Congress are pushing to change that provision. That effort -- rooted in the debate over illegal immigration, particularly of people from Mexico -- has created some controversy.
The Pew Hispanic Center report may be found here and the summary gives some interesting details:
Unauthorized immigrants comprise slightly more than 4% of the adult population of the U.S., but because they are relatively young and have high birthrates, their children make up a much larger share of both the newborn population (8%) and the child population (7% of those younger than age 18) in this country.
These figures are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2009 Current Population Survey, augmented with the Pew Hispanic Center’s analysis of the demographic characteristics of the unauthorized immigrant population using a "residual estimation methodology" it has employed for the past five years.
The new Pew Hispanic analysis finds that nearly four-in-five (79%) of the 5.1 million children (younger than age 18) of unauthorized immigrants were born in this country and therefore are U.S. citizens. In total, 4 million U.S.-born children of unauthorized immigrant parents resided in this country in 2009, alongside 1.1 million foreign-born children of unauthorized immigrant parents.
The study also concludes (somehow) that Latinos have higher fertility rates than whites, blacks and Asians. It might be something in their blood but chances are you have the Catholic church to thank for that interesting detail. Catholic guilt is a hell of an aphrodisiac when you know la Virgen de Guadalupe is watching and counting on you to squeeze out more little Catholics.