Study: Nearly 5M Anchor Babies in U.S.

MCALLEN, TX - AUGUST 15: A pregnant Honduran immigrant stands in line with fellow immigrants for a bus to a U.S. destination on August 15, 2016 from McAllen, Texas. Central American immigrant families, who had crossed into Texas through Mexico, are processed at a U.S. Border Patrol center, given temporary …
John Moore/Getty Images

Nearly five million United States-born children of illegal aliens, given birthright American citizenship, now reside in the country, new estimates indicate.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in its latest illegal alien population estimates, approximates that about 4,964,000 U.S.-born children of illegal aliens live in the U.S. today. These children, commonly referred to as “anchor babies,” immediately obtain birthright citizenship and anchor their illegal or foreign parents in the country.

FAIR’s analysis reveals that California, with its expansive sanctuary state policy, is home to more than a million anchor babies, while nearly 715,000 reside in Texas and another 381,000 reside in Florida.

The totals are significant as the last anchor baby population data was released in 2017 by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which estimated that about 4.5 million anchor babies below 18-years-old resided in the U.S.

Analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) finds that, on average, roughly 300,000 anchor babies are born to illegal aliens every year and about 72,000 anchor babies are born to foreign tourists, foreign visa workers, and foreign students every year.

All of these U.S.-born children, and their parents, benefit immensely from the nation’s birthright citizenship policy that guarantees American citizenship to anyone, regardless of their ties to the country, born within the parameters of the U.S.

For years, former President Trump had said he was readying a plan to end birthright citizenship with an executive order that likely would have been challenged by open borders organizations, forcing the issue potentially up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump, though, did not sign any such order while in office.

To date, the U.S. Supreme Court has never explicitly ruled that the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens must be granted automatic American citizenship, and a number of legal scholars dispute the idea.

Many leading conservative scholars argue the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment does not provide mandatory birthright citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens or noncitizens, as these children are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction as that language was understood when the 14th Amendment was ratified.

Today’s anchor baby population exceeds the annual number of U.S. births by roughly one million. Research from 2018 finds that the U.S.-births of illegal aliens costs American taxpayers about $2.4 billion every year.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at


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