Baby Geniuses III: TERROR BABIES — THE RECKONING

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12 Responses

  1. Charles says:

    The prevalence of anchor babies, as described by TL, still appears to be pretty low. If anchor baby means "a baby born to a non-citizen," that may be a significant number. But if it means "a baby born to a non-citizen who calculated that a citizen child is an advantage" it is probably insanely low.

    I also think that TL is wrong that a citizen-child in any way deters the INS (or DHS, if that is the relevant agency now) from deporting a non-citizen parent. See, for example, this article or listen to Act 2 of this episode of This American Life.

  2. Imaginary Lawyer says:

    "Anchor babies" are citizens of the United States. Essentially, it's a slur on people based on their ancestry. I guess calling them "second-generation wetbacks" doesn't dogwhistle quite as well.

    And why the heck would sleeper agents be coming in through our southern border? Isn't it much easier for them to sneak in from Canada?

  3. Old Geezer says:

    So, I want to raise a child in a foreign terrorist camp and send him/her into the U.S. to blow things up. Why exactly does that child have to be a citizen to achieve success? None of the 19 or 20 9/11 miscreants were citizens nor did any of them enter the country illegally. With some 20- or 30 million illegal immigrants living in the country now, why does citizenship mean anything when it come to terrorism? Is it that we fear that a future terrorist is going to be able to collect Social Security?

  4. Imaginary Lawyer says:

    It's that babies are kind of hard to beat on, politically speaking. You have to portray them as "anchor babies" or "terrorist babies" to get over the hump.

  5. There's two parts to the legend of "anchor babies" — first, that people come here with the intent of having a baby within the geographic borders of the U.S.; and second, once that baby is born, the parents get to stay despite being undocumented.

    As to the first part of the legend, I was frankly ready to dismiss it as a bogeyman based on nothing but anecdotal evidence with no substantial basis in reality, until I read the Pew Report. Now, I think that we may have to look a little deeper into that aspect of things.

    Whether the second part of the legend is congruent with reality was an issue which I did not purport to address and do not purport to know.

  6. Imaginary Lawyer says:

    I'm sure there are people who intend to have their kids here to give them citizenship. But I find it hard to believe that illegal aliens are any better than citizens at family planning. Something like, what, half of pregnancies are unplanned? More likely illegal immigrants come here, stay longer than they otherwise would because it's very hard to get back across the border a second time, and do what comes naturally.

    As for the second part of the legend, on your own blog you dissect the first proposition without ever addressing the second – which rather suggests you accept it as fact. Certainly if you're being skeptical of one it makes logical sense to be skeptical of the other, which is in fact not congruent with reality.

    I suspect the people whining about 'anchor babies' are, being ignorant of actual immigration law, confusing this with the fact that naturalized citizens may, in some circumstances, try to bring family members legally into the US. This is a time-consuming, expensive and uncertain process. It seems rather silly to insist that people have babies here with the intent that, eighteen years down the line, the baby MIGHT be able to get Mom and Dad into America.

  7. MadRocketScientist says:

    It's simple, a baby born on US soil is a US citizen. Done, full stop.

    Mom & Dad might not be so lucky, if they are here illegally. If they are illegal, mom & dad can be deported and they have a choice. They can take their baby with them, and junior will be able to enjoy his US citizenship at age 18, or they can put junior up for adoption as INS hauls them back to the border, giving junior access to the US at a much earlier age.

  8. I believe I made the same point as you regarding unplanned pregnancies, IL. I didn't intend to impliedly endorse the second facet of the "anchor baby" myth, but you've made a legitimate criticism of what I wrote there; I tried to clarify myself.

    Further attempts at doing so, however, would probably earn me the title of "threadjacker," so please feel free to criticize my writing on my blog. I can take it without crying, just you see. Do your worst.

    This forum should be for comments on Ken's post, which is offered to hold up to public ridicule the idea that because the infant babies of people in the country without legal authorization are here might one day become terrorists, we must amend the Constitution. The cocktail of fear and illogic on display in the quoted conversation is indeed breathtaking.

  9. Imaginary Lawyer says:

    Ken's post links to your blog, and also notes that illegal immigrants who give birth here are "more likely to be allowed to stay", so we're on topic.

    ICE is happy to deport actual citizens; the idea that they would get all soft and misty-eyed about deporting illegal immigrants who have kids here, whether or not those kids are sekrit muslin terrorists in training, defies sanity.

    The linked article also has this gem:

    "Former FBI Assistant Director Thomas Fuentes followed up and basically said Riddle didn't have any idea what she was talking about. Cooper also said her office wasn't returning any follow up calls." In other words, they made it up to excite the base and don't care if they get called on it; the idiots who elect them like the first story and they're sticking to it.

  10. Charles says:

    IL, I agree with you wholeheartedly – though I think my comment gives the impression that I am entertaining another possibility. I was only playing the ball as it lies, which is to say, responding to the notion, pace TL, that the underlying allegation that illegals are engaging in childbirth tourism may be something other than a bogeyman.

    I don't think childbirth tourism exists in any real sense and even if it were happening I wouldn't want to amend the 14th Amendment to change the law.

  11. Rich Rostrom says:

    Charles: Childbirth tourism is very real. It's a common thing for Korean women; it allows their sons to avoid the draft. Childbirth tourism Korea.

    A U.S. foreign service officer has reported encountering many U.S. citizens in the Middle East who have not been in the U.S. since a few months after birth.

    Yaser Hamdi (of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld) is such a "citizen".

    Furkan Dogan was a Turkish jihadist on the Mavi Marmora, part of the so-called Gaza Freedom Flotilla, who was killed in the mob attack on Israeli troops by the "passengers". He was also a "citizen" , though he left the U.S. when he was 2.

    I will agree that it is farfetched to suggest that terrorists would arrange birth tourism for future operatives. But I don't think it is farfetched to note that allowing birth tourism (legal or illegal) creates a growing pool of potential terrorist recruits with U.S. citizenship.

    It needs to stop.

  12. Old Geezer says:

    @Rich Rostrom

    I'll see your Yasar Hamdi and raise you Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski, both citizens born to citizens.