Birthright Repeal Would Swell Illegal Pool

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 (UPI) — Repeal of birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants would greatly expand the country’s unauthorized population, a report says.

Denying U.S. citizenship to children born to parents who are both illegal immigrants would increase the unauthorized population from its current 10.8 million to 16 million by 2050, a report by the Migration Policy Institute says.


“While some are discussing an end to birthright citizenship as a means to reduce illegal immigration,” study author Jennifer Van Hook, professor of sociology and demographics at Penn State, said, “repeal of birthright citizenship would generate a large U.S.-born unauthorized population that has the potential to grow over time, even assuming an immediate and complete halt in new illegal immigration.”

The report assesses how the House-introduced Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009 or changes to the 14th Amendment would affect the size of the unauthorized population through 2050.

“What is less commonly understood in the current debate is that repeal of birthright citizenship would set in motion the creation of a self-perpetuating class of unauthorized immigrants,” study co-author Michael Fix of the Migration Policy Institute said.

“This perpetuation of hereditary disadvantage based on the legal status of one’s ancestors would be unprecedented in U.S. immigration law,” Fix said.

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