Politics

6.8 MILLION: How Birthright Citizenship Is Changing US Elections

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Justin Caruso Senior Media Reporter

A Daily Caller News Foundation analysis has documented some shocking statistics on the effect of birthright citizenship on U.S. elections.

Children born to illegal immigrants, or “anchor babies” as they are sometimes called, become eligible to vote in U.S. elections once they turn 18. Though it is impossible to know the exact numbers, a DCNF analysis of estimates by the Pew Research Center demonstrates that over 1.6 million children of illegal immigrants are eligible to vote in U.S. elections, with over 5 million more becoming eligible to vote in the the future.

The Pew Research Center has tracked undocumented immigrant births since 1980, when there were an estimated 30,000 births. Adding up the number of births  from 1980 to 1997, there are roughly  1,670,000 individuals born in the United States to illegal immigrants who are now of voting age.

The exact number is actually higher due to births from before 1980, as well as the 190,000 births in 1998 that were discounted because those born later in the year are not yet 18. This means that the estimate of 1.67 million children is actually on the conservative side.

Most illegal immigrants are Hispanic or Asian, which are both heavily Democratic voting blocks. If the children of illegal immigrants hold similar voting patterns as their parents, it spells trouble for the GOP — and Latino voting groups are working quickly to register new voters.

These individuals will certainly influence the 2016 election, but they will really flex muscle in future elections.

Further DCNF analysis determined that from 1998-2014, there were an estimated 5,147,000 children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents. Adding that to the previous estimate and projecting 18 years into the future, there will be 6,817,000, or about 7 million, eligible voters by 2032.

Every year, about two to three hundred thousand more children will turn 18. And there are more births happening right now, at the rate of one birth every 93 seconds, according to some estimates.

Seven million votes can change the outcome of an election. Obama won the 2012 general election popular vote by just 4.9 million votes. The 2008 popular vote had then-Senator Obama beating John McCain by 9.5 million votes. George W. Bush beat Kerry in 2004 by just 3 million votes.

Many undocumented immigrants tend to concentrate in just a few states, so the Electoral College may limit their children’s’ impact. On the other hand, there’s no reason to believe grown children of illegal immigrants will not move to other states.

The GOP’s electoral chances are imperiled not only by birthright citizenship, but also even more so by legal immigration, Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), told TheDCNF.

“The broader point is that when you let lots of people into your country who are likely to vote for bigger government, it’s going to change your politics, and even if we didn’t have our current citizenship practices, you’d see the same thing happening just because of legal immigration,” Krikorian said.

He added that birthright citizenship is “icing on the cake” for those on the left “who consciously and intentionally use immigration policy to skew politics, to move the center in their direction.”

Krikorian pointed to a recently released email from the Wikileaks dump of John Podesta’s inbox. “Just as patterns of immigration are moving the U.S. left, patterns of immigration are moving Israel right,” reads the email, which was sent from self-described “Adviser to pro-Hillary Super PAC” Paul Begala.

Though it mostly concerns Israeli politics, the email is a blunt admission that immigration inevitably takes U.S. politics to the left.

Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump, has taken a controversial stand on birthright citizenship. In addition to his famous calls to build a wall, Trump has advocated for ending birthright citizenship altogether. Birthright citizenship “remains the biggest magnet for illegal immigration,” his campaign has said.

With the election less than a week away, these issues are on the minds of many voters — especially those who are the children of illegal immigrants themselves.

As Mark Krikorian noted in our interview, “Immigration is, in fact, changing the political character of the country.”

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