Anchor Baby

An “Anchor Baby” is a term used to describe a child who was brought to the U.S. to give birth with the purpose of gaining U.S. citizenship. A U.S. citizen child will be able to sponsor the mother to come to the U.S. later on once the child turn to 21. The idea behind this is US birthright citizenship policy under the 14th Amendment gives any child born in the U.S. citizenship automatically regardless parents’ immigration status or citizenship. And U.S. citizen has the right to petition parents to live in the United States as green card holders with IR-5 parent visa.  It is considered to be an offensive term to immigrants and has been widely used in the political debate over illegal immigration issue.

How Does the “Anchor Baby” Help Others Immigrate to the U.S.?

Under U.S. immigration law, a U.S. citizen can petition for any immediate relative to live in the U.S. as green card holders. Immediate relatives include spouse, parents and unmarried child under age of 21. Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and there is always a visa available for them. Once the U.S. citizen can prove he has enough income to meet the income requirement (or able to provide a joint sponsor), the parents can come to live in the U.S. legally in a short time.

Is “Anchor Baby” illegal?

Technically, the practice of traveling to the US to give birth is legal with proper travel document. Giving birth is considered as medical treatment which is  one of the traveling purpose categories under B-2 visitor visa. However, if the parents misrepresent their intentions of visiting or provide false documents, they might be violating immigration laws and be cited for immigration fraud.



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