“Anchor Babies”, the Dream Amendment in the Senate, and a toddler facing deportation proceedings in Boston. Children are being used as pawns in the immigration debate.

“Anchor Babies”

In addition to opposing anything but punishment for the ten to twenty million undocumented persons in the US, anti-immigrants are trying to tighten immigration laws in such a way that even more “illegals” will be counted among us. They argue that birth right US citizenship should be abolished because the undocumented have US born babies as a ticket to stay in the country.

Although this argument appeals to anti-immigrant emotion, the truth is that children cannot sponsor parents for permanent residence until they are 21 years old. Add to that the time it takes for such applications to be processed (currently 9 to 15 years), and it becomes clear that having a child and waiting 30 to 36 years is not the most efficient way to legalize one’s status.

The Dream Amendment

This amendment would provide a six-year path to permanent residence for undocumented students and restore the authority of state governments to determine residency criteria for in-state tuition. Many of those who would benefit from such a law came to the US as young children, speak primarily or exclusively English and have no ties or familiarity with their “native” countries.

However, as I posted earlier this week, a MercuryNews.com article reported that in response to students going on a fast to express support for the DREAM amendment, Michael Savage, a talk radio personality said the following on the air: “let them fast until they starve to death, then that solves the problem,” followed by “then we won’t have a problem about giving them green cards because they’re illegal aliens.”

Deportable Toddler

A recent Boston.com article serves as as an illustration of how out of control our immigration system has become, there is the true story of Karla, a 5 year-old girl who was smuggled into the US, sitting in immigration court with her lawyer asking that she not be deported.

If we were to disallow so-called “anchor babies”, perhaps we would need a hybrid nursery/day care/immigration court to handle this new class of “illegals.”

Author: Bradley Maged

I'm Brad Maged, an immigration lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts. I help people who want to live and work in the United States and companies that wish to employ them. This blog provides opinion and information on developments in immigration law. Thanks for reading!

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