Congressman Steve King rolls out plan to unmoor ‘anchor babies’

Congressman Steve King, Iowa Republican, introduced new legislation his office said would “end the practice of automatically granting American citizenship to ‘anchor babies’ born in the United States to illegal alien parents.”

King and co-sponsoring Republicans Phil Gingrey and Rob Woodall, both of Georgia, and Gary Miller of California introduced H.R. 140, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011, to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The bill would add clarification to current immigration laws by requiring that at a child born in the U.S. and considered for citizenship have at least one parent who is a U.S. national or citizen, a legal alien or an alien performing active service in the armed forces.

“The current practice of extending U.S. citizenship to hundreds of thousands of ‘anchor babies’ every year arises from the misapplication of the Constitution’s citizenship clause and creates an incentive for illegal aliens to cross our border,” King said in a statement. “The ‘Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011’ ends this practice by making it clear that a child born in the United States to illegal alien parents does not meet the standard for birthright citizenship already established by the Constitution. Passage of this bill will ensure that immigration law breakers are not rewarded, will close the door to future waves of extended family chain migration, and will help to bring an end to the global ‘birth tourism’ industry.”

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution has provided what many conservatives call a loophole to for illegal immigrants to give birth to their children in the United States, which therefore means they automatically are U.S. citizens. Miller said granting citizenship to children of illegal immigrants “undermines the intention of the Fourteenth Amendment, rewards those that have recklessly broken our nation’s immigration laws, and costs American taxpayers billions annually.

“By simply closing this loophole, we will save taxpayers billions and reduce the appeal of entering the United States illegally,” Miller said. “This bill simply makes sense.”