A New Baby Boom? Foreign 'Birth Tourists' Seek U.S. Citizenship for Children

Krikorian and others call the offspring of birth tourists "anchor babies," because they can serve as a foothold for future legal immigration of an entire family.

Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, said he sees the debate about birth tourists in a different light, however, noting that arguments about citizenship of children ignore a fundamental question of humanity.

"If we're a country that cares about families and family values, then why are we blaming the children for a decision the parents made. Their only decision was to take a first breath," he said.

"What is the State Department going to do? To fill out a visa application have a woman pee on a stick?"

The United States is one of the few remaining countries to grant citizenship to all children born on its soil. The United Kingdom, Ireland, India and Australia, among others, have since revised their birthright laws, no longer allowing every child born on their soil to get citizenship.

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