Illegal and visiting immigrants give birth to enough children in the United States every year to top the populations of St. Louis, Pittsburgh, or Anaheim, and at least 33,000 are considered “birth tourists” eager to win their children birthright citizenship and themselves a quick ticket in, according to two new reports out Thursday.

The Center for Immigration Studies, using federal statistics, has found that there are 39,000 births a year to foreign students, guest workers, and others on long-term temporary visas, plus an additional 33,000 births annually to tourists, adding:

These births are in addition to the nearly 300,000 births each year to illegal immigrants.

Steven Camarota, the report's lead author and the center's director of research, said,

Our analysis makes clear that the number of children born to visitors is not trivial, and over time the numbers are substantial. It seems doubtful that the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment could have anticipated that tens of thousands of people each year would automatically be granted citizenship simply because their parents were on a temporary visit to the United States at the time of their birth.

“Birth tourism” has been ripped by critics as a top immigration scam. Not only, under the Fourteenth Amendment, do children born in the U.S. receive birthright citizenship, but it opens the door to their parents, and eventually their extended family, to getting citizenship or legal status.

The key findings from Camarota’s reports are:

  • Primarily foreign students, guest workers, and exchange visitors, give birth to about 39,000 children annually or 390,000 each decade.
  • Many news stories in recent years have focused on "birth tourism," which describes the phenomenon of pregnant women coming to America shortly before their due dates so their children are born in the U.S. and are awarded U.S. citizenship. Based on a comparison of birth records and Census Bureau data, we estimate there were 33,000 births to women on tourist visas in the second half of 2016 and the first half of 2017. This translates to perhaps 330,000 such births each decade.
  • We estimate that at least 90% of the fathers of children born to non-immigrant women were not U.S. citizens, almost all of them on a temporary visa themselves or illegal immigrants. This means at least 35,000 children were born to a non-immigrant mother and were awarded U.S. citizenship at birth solely because they were born on U.S. soil and not because their parents were citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders).

This story originally appeared in the Washington Examiner.
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Updated: Fri, Dec 27th 2019 @ 10:35am EST