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New Report Hopes to Shed Light on Some Questions about "Anchor Babies"

Phoenix, AZ – The study by the Pew Hispanic Center concluded there are about
5.1 million children in the United States who have at least one
parent not in this country legally. That includes about 340,000
born in just 2008, the most recent year studied. Researchers say
four out of five of these children were born here -- versus in
the parents' mother country -- making them U.S. citizens. The
report comes amid efforts to alter the 14th Amendment which
courts have interpreted to confer automatic citizenship on
newborns by virtue of the location of their birth. But state Sen.
Russell Pearce said doesn't need to be that complicated.

(It doesn't need a constitutional amendment. It needs
clarification. That's all it needs. All it needs is
clarification. At the end of the 14th Amendment it says Congress
will regulate this amendment. So they put it in there for
Congress to regulate it in case there was abuse or something
misunderstood. Congress could have fixed it yesterday.)

Pew researcher Jeff Passel said he didn't try to compute Arizona-
specific numbers. But he pointed to an earlier study which
concluded that Arizona has about 4.2 percent of the total illegal
immigrants in the entire country. Using that as rough estimate,
that translates to more than 14,000 births in 2008 in families
where at least one parent was not here legally. It also means
there are more than 214,000 such children in Arizona, with about
170,000 of these considered anchor babies born in this country
and with U.S. citizenship. For Arizona Public Radio this is
Howard Fischer.