Babies born to illegal immigrant parents accounted for eight percent of U.S. births in 2013, according to a new Pew Research Center report on the most recent available government data.
The Pew report released Friday reveals that in 2013, illegals gave birth to 295,000 babies, down slightly from the peak in 2007 when 370,000 babies were born to illegal immigrants, or nine percent of all U.S. births.
Babies born on U.S. soil are automatically afforded U.S. citizenship and all the rights and privileges that go with it. The phenomena of illegal immigrants giving birth on American soil has seen some Republican presidential candidates — most notably Donald Trump — calling for an end to birth right citizenship and “anchor babies.”
“Anchor baby”— a term some have decried as offensive — births have not always been this high. According to Pew’s data, while there has been a decline from the 2007 peak, in the 1980s babies born to illegal immigrants represented just one percent of overall births. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, that percentage hovered around two and three percent.
The percentage of U.S. births to illegal immigrants continued to rise through the 1990s and 2000s, peaking at nine percent in 2007.
“Most children of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. are born here, and therefore are citizens. In 2012, there were 4.5 million U.S.-born children younger than 18 living with unauthorized-immigrant parents,” Pew reports. “There also were 775,000 children younger than 18 who were unauthorized immigrants themselves and lived with unauthorized-immigrant parents. These totals do not count U.S.-born children of unauthorized immigrants who do not live with their parents.”