Approximately 36,000 ‘birth tourists’ in U.S.

If there was ever an argument against ending birthright citizenship, this is it. According to data compiled by the Center for Immigration Studies, there are possibly 36,000 pregnant women who arrived in the U.S. in 2012 explicitly to give birth on U.S. soil so that their children would be legally deemed American citizens. The practice is called “birth tourism,” and the babies are often called “anchor babies.”

Center for Immigration Studies research expert Steven A. Camarota compared data from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey to data from the “American Community Survey” (ACS). He explains in a blog how he came up with the 36,000 figure:

The survey is designed to reflect the U.S. population as of July 1 of the year the survey was taken, so the survey is recording the number of women living in the country at mid-year who had a child in last half of the prior year and the first half of the year of the survey. In the second half of 2011 and the first half of 2012, the CDC reports 898,975 births to foreign-born mothers. The public-use file of the 2012 ACS shows that there were 863,407 foreign-born women who indicated that they had a child in the prior 12 months. The difference between these two numbers is 35,568 and implies that about 36,000 foreign-born women gave birth in the United States in the 12 months before July 1, 2012, but were no longer in the country.

What do you think? Should we ban “birth tourism” to prevent the birth of “anchor babies”?