Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Birthright Citizenship for the Children of Visitors: A National Security Problem in the Making?

A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies examines the issue of the U.S. policy to grant citizenship to the children of temporary visitors.

Entitled “Birthright Citizenship for the Children of Visitors: A National Security Problem in the Making?,” the Backgrounder includes original estimates on the number of annual births to temporary visitors, whether birth tourists, students, guestworkers, or Mexican citizens with border-crossing privileges. The report suggests that this policy is a national security vulnerability and discusses how U.S.-born, but raised-abroad terrorists can (and have) used their citizenship against us.

Key findings:
Nearly 200,000 children are estimated to have been born to women lawfully admitted as temporary visitors from all over the world in 2009. By comparison, according to other studies, more than 300,000 children are born each year to illegal aliens.

Short-term visitors, including women who come as birth tourists expressly for the purpose of having a U.S.-citizen child, account for about 20 percent of these births (39,000). While most foreign tourists stay for two weeks or less, according to DHS statistics a large number of people who are admitted as tourists stay for periods of three months or more, including an estimated 780,000 women of child-bearing age.

Another 20,000 annual births are estimated to young foreign women who are admitted as short-term residents, such as students, guestworkers, exchange visitors, investors, and other categories that allow for multiple years of U.S. residence.

The cohort that accounts for the largest number of births to foreign visitors is Mexican women who hold Border Crossing Cards (BCCs). An estimated 130,000 births are estimated from this group of women, who have virtually unrestricted access to U.S. cities and towns in the southwest border region. Because the identities of BCC holders are not checked upon entry and the exits are not tracked, the cards frequently are used fraudulently by imposters seeking illegal entry.

Any discussion of the issue of birthright citizenship for the children of foreign visitors must consider the national security implications, including the cases of Anwar al Awlaki, the U.S.-born cleric now residing in Yemen, and Yaser Esam Hamdi, the U.S.-born enemy combatant captured in fighting in Afghanistan and released from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia in 2004. Both Al Awlaki and Hamdi were born in the United States to parents admitted as temporary residents on non-immigrant visas and were raised, and radicalized, abroad.

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: Contact: Jessica Vaughan,, (508) 346-3380. The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

How the UK Border Agency lost track of 180,000 migrants on expired visas

An astonishing 181,000 migrants whose right to live in Britain has expired could still be here, auditors have found. The figure includes workers, students and their relatives whose visas have run out in the last two years, and who have been refused permission to stay on.

The National Audit Office, which uncovered the statistic, said immigration officials ‘cannot be sure’ how many have gone home. It found the UK Border Agency knew where all the failed applicants had lived in Britain – but has not checked if they are still there. Worryingly, the only action taken has been letters sent to 2,000 people in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, asking them to leave.

The figure, revealed in a highly critical report into Labour’s points-based immigration system, will raise concerns about the number of illegal migrants in the UK, and the lack of measures to make them leave. The supposedly ‘tough’ system, modelled on Australia’s, was designed to cut economic migration by as much as 12 per cent. In fact, it has increased by 20 per cent. The number of foreign students has risen by nearly a third.

Tory MP Philip Davies said the revelations proved the system was a ‘complete shambles’, adding: ‘This goes to show what an absurdly lax regime has been run.’

Immigration minister Damian Green said the Government was making ‘radical reforms’ to the system, including ‘the introduction of an annual limit on economic migrants, sweeping changes to the student visa system, and a shake-up of the family and settlement route’. He added it was also committed to reintroducing exit checks by 2015. ‘We are determined to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands, and clampdown on abuses,’ he said.

The report raised further concerns over the resident labour market test, which requires employers to advertise a job to Britons before looking overseas. Immigration officials were unable to check if companies advertised roles here for the minimum period of four weeks.

Rules which allowed 90,000 migrants to stay for two years looking for work after completing their studies were also given a scathing assessment. The report said: ‘It is not clear that the department foresaw the risk this posed to control of the border, or whether it took adequate steps to mitigate the risk.’

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee, said: ‘The Points Based System is a welcome simplification of the previous system of 39 different types of work visa. However, gaps in data, poor risk management and inefficient processes mean that we cannot be certain that it either ensures proper controls or meets the UK’s need for skilled labour.’


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