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The Myth of Anchor Babies and how they help their parents

Updated on January 21, 2013

Be Very Afraid

The GOP has a new thing for Americans to fear.
The GOP has a new thing for Americans to fear. | Source

Myths about illegal immigration

Exploding myths about illegal immigration has become a full-time hobby of mine. The latest myth that I find very curious is this idea of anchor babies. Wikipedia describes anchor babies as, a "term used in United States politics to describe a child born in the U.S. to illegal aliens. It is generally used as a derogatory reference to the role of the child, who as a U.S. citizen through the legal principle of jus soli, may facilitate immigration for relatives through family reunification.” It goes on to say that it is a misnomer. The reason is it is a patently false idea.

The fact is that babies born here have no bearing on whether their parents can stay in this country or not. I know this because I have first-hand experience with the immigration system in the US. In 1999, I moved to Guatemala with my then fiancé. We decided to get married and do a check on her social security card because she came here as a pre-teen. We found out that she had been working with a false social security card for almost 20 years. When we spoke to immigration about this issue, they immediately told us that she would be deported and would not be able to come back to the country for 10 years.

My ex-wife was married before we met to an American. She had a son in that marriage, who at the time was 11-years-old. He was powerless to help his mother, so we decided to move to Central America instead of letting the government deport her. It took us three years, even after we were married, to get her back in the country.

I did all of the paperwork myself for her re-entry into the states. It costs almost $4000 and I had to guarantee that I would be the primary support for my ex-wife when she did return to this country. I eventually had to enlist the help of Senator Barbara Boxer’s office to help us return.

Anchor babies do not exist. Parents come here so that their children will have US citizenship. It does not help them unless:

  • The child is 21-years-old
  • Can show that he/she cannot only support themselves but the person they are sponsoring for residency, for example their parents.

Most 21-year-old children of illegal immigrants do not have the means to support themselves, let alone their parents. Parents come here to offer their children better lives. Some even do it legally.

The Los Angeles Times recently published an article about a group of Chinese women, all pregnant, who came here so their babies would be born US citizens. They call it birthing tourism. These women come here on legal visas to have their babies so that their children can later return to the US and attend universities. These women were holed up in houses that were maternity wards. They have their babies and return to China.

This is nothing new. It has gone on since this country was founded. In the 1800’s Irish and German women came here. In the early 1900’s it was Italian immigrants who cross the Atlantic hoping that their children would be born on American soil. During economic hardships we have always blamed immigrants for our woes. The cycle just repeats itself.

It is how this country was built.


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    • profile image

      Bernie Sanders 2 years ago

      Someone ate a lot of paint chips as a child.

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      tjc3 3 years ago

      It's amazing how ppl think. Many of the ppl whom are fighting the anchor babies ( myth or not) were probably anchor babies themselves.

    • habueld profile image

      Bruce Bean 4 years ago from Riverside, CA

      Harrison, but parents are deported all the time. Every day!

    • Harrison27 profile image

      Harrison 4 years ago from United States of America

      It may be how this county was built but that doesn't change the fact that America is at a dilemma as to whether or not to separate families. Americans think that they are morally superior to everyone else which means that a number of our citizens believe that deporting the parents and breaking up the familial structure is morally wrong. The only other solution is to deport both parents and children which means that they are in essence deporting American Citizens (the children)... so in the theory that these babies are "anchor babies" most Americans would agree that that is the case as many of them would rather not deport the parents if it means breaking up the family home.

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      francisid 6 years ago

      ...and to think illegal immigrants think of anchor babies as their solution! tee-hee!

      well,ignorance of the law excuses no one.but i think it is still the duty of everyone involved to know and understand the laws on immigration through and through so there would be no pointing fingers afterwards.

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      Howard Schneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Very informative Hub. The anti-immigration reform people will spread any lie to get their points across. They are obsessed. I admire your persistence and reiliency. You are right that the U.S. has a history of doing this. It comes out of fear and ignorance and usually occurs during times of economic distress. Anchor babies are a myth and the Far Right is using it to court paranoid voters. Great Hub.

    • ritazruby profile image

      ritazruby 6 years ago