Study: Tancredo-backed bill would increase illegal population

Ending birthright citizenship in the United States by passing the 2009 Birthright Citizenship Act would drive the number of illegal aliens in the country from an estimated 11 million to 16 million by 2050, according to a report released Wednesday by the Migration Policy Institute.

While American Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo has looked to outlaw birthright citizenship, the report, entitled “The Demographic Impacts of Repealing Birthright Citizenship,” assesses how passage of the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009 or changes to the 14th Amendment would affect the size of the undocumented immigrant population through 2050.

“While some are discussing an end to birthright citizenship as a means to reduce illegal immigration, such a move would in fact significantly increase the size of the unauthorized population,” said Jennifer Van Hook, a professor of sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University and an MPI non-resident fellow. “Even assuming an immediate and complete halt in new illegal immigration, repeal of birthright citizenship would generate a large U.S.-born unauthorized population that has the potential to grow over time.”

Van Hook found that that passage of the House-introduced Birthright Citizenship Act, which would deny U.S. citizenship to children born to parents who are both undocumented immigrants, would increase the unauthorized population from 10.8 million to 16 million in 2050.

Other estimates show that in 2009 there were 11.1 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

The report notes that there would be 1 million undocumented immigrants by 2050 whose parents had been born in the United States and 4.7 million undocumented immigrants born on U.S. soil.

“There’s a complicated legal argument at the center of this having to do with the 14th Amendment, but the short of it is that people who are illegally in this country shouldn’t have the right to have their children gain the privilege of U.S. citizenship,” Tancredo said in a 2006 interview. “It is a terrible public policy to reward people who come into this country by giving citizenship to their children (who then, in turn, can bring them into the U.S.).”

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