Close to 600 pregnant illegal alien women have been detained by United States Border Patrol and immigration officials in the last five months, newly released numbers reveal.
In a critical Buzzfeed News report of President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy at the border, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials revealed that between December 2017 and April 2018 there have been about 590 pregnant illegal alien women booked into detainment after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
The staggering numbers are buried in a long-form report where pregnant illegal aliens allege abuse at the detention facilities by the Border Patrol and ICE agency.
As Breitbart News has reported, illegal aliens often cross the southern border in hopes of having U.S.-born children to anchor them permanently in the country. In one recent case, a couple with four anchor babies living in Boston, Massachusetts, said they feared being deported.
For this reason, the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens are often referred to as “anchor babies,” as they are able to eventually bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S. through the process known as “chain migration.” Every two new immigrants to the U.S. brings an estimated seven foreign relatives with them.
As Breitbart News reported, the U.S. is nearly alone in granting citizenship to the children of illegal aliens. For example, the U.S. and Canada are the only two developed nations with birthright citizenship.
There are at least 4.5 million anchor babies in the U.S. under the age of 18, Breitbart News noted. This estimate does not include the potential millions of anchor babies who are older than 18-years-old, nor does it include the anchor babies who are living overseas with their deported foreign parents.
The 4.5 million anchor babies estimate exceeds the four million American children born every year. In the next decade, the CBO estimates that there will be at least another 600,000 anchor babies born in the U.S., which would put the anchor baby population on track to exceed annual American births—should the U.S. birth rate not increase—by more than one million anchor babies.
Trump has blasted the country’s anchor baby policy—which rewards the children of illegal aliens with U.S. citizenship so long as they are born within the country’s borders.
“If you have a baby on our land, congratulations. That baby is a United States citizen,” Trump said months ago in an interview. “We’re the only one. Now Mexico has very tough policies. They can do whatever they want, which is the way it should be. You’re violating something very sacred. You’re violating a border.”
The birthright citizenship debate was not always partisan, as it currently is, with establishment Republicans and Democrats supporting anchor babies.
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) once opposed birthright citizenship, saying in 1993 that “no sane country” would reward illegal aliens with U.S. citizenship for their children.
Proponents of birthright citizenship often claim the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires the policy. The Supreme Court, however, has never explicitly ruled that the children of illegal aliens must be granted automatic citizenship and many legal scholars dispute the idea.
Every year, the U.S. admits more than 1.5 foreign nationals, with the vast majority deriving from family-based chain migration. In 2016, the legal and illegal immigrant population reached a record high of 44 million. By 2023, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the legal and illegal immigrant population of the U.S. will make up nearly 15 percent of the entire U.S. population.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.