340,000 babies born to US illegals in 2008: study

Aug 11th, 2010 | By admin | Category: Featured

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Around 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in the United States in 2008 were the children of undocumented immigrants, a survey reported Wednesday.

The study from the Pew Hispanic Center comes amid growing calls amongst conservatives for the law to be amended to prevent the offspring of illegal workers from being granted automatic US citizenship.

Although unauthorized immigrants represent only four percent of the adult population in the United States, their children account for a much larger share of newborns (eight percent) and children under 18 (seven percent).

The Pew figures were gleaned from data gathered in the US Census Bureau’s 2009 population survey as well as analysis of the demographic characteristics of the unauthorized immigrant population.

The Pew study shows nearly four-in-five (79 percent) of the 5.1 million children under the age of 18 (younger than age 18) to unauthorized immigrants were born in the United States and qualified as citizens.

The study comes amid increasing debate about whether the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution — which grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States regardless of their parents’ immigration status — should be changed.

Prominent Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has been among the vocal advocates of changing the law, claiming in interviews that illegal immigrants were entering the United States solely to have babies in the country and gain citizenship for their offspring.

© 2010 AFP

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