From: The Honorable Steve King
Sent By:
Bill: H.R. 140
Date: 8/31/2015

Close the Anchor Baby Loophole: Cosponsor H.R. 140, the Birthright Citizenship Act

Dear Colleague,

The fight against illegal immigration and the misguided notion of “birthright citizenship” has gained national attention and taken center stage during the 2016 presidential race.  Several Republican presidential candidates are now taking a stand by calling for an end to this practice.  Granting automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants is based on a flawed interpretation of the 14th Amendment.  You can help clarify who can be granted birthright citizenship by becoming a cosponsor of H.R. 140, the Birthright Citizenship Act.

Before the ratification of the 14th Amendment, citizenship was granted by the states and subsequently recognized by the federal government.  Despite the end to slavery, a “Citizenship Clause” was included in the 14th Amendment to guarantee that recently freed slaves gained full rights as Americans.  This citizenship clause was never intended to guarantee citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

Due to this misinterpretation, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that one out of 10 births in the United States is to an illegal immigrant mother.  CIS also estimates that each year 380,000 expectant mothers cross the border illegally in hopes of giving birth in the United States.  After being granted automatic citizenship, these children are eligible to initiate chain migration for their family members.  The significant benefits of U.S. citizenship have launched a global “birth tourism” industry that exploits this “anchor baby” loophole.  This practice must be stopped.

H.R. 140 would limit birthright citizenship to a child born in the United States of parents, one of whom is:

  1. A citizen or national of the United States;
  2. An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States whose residence is in the United States; or
  3. An alien performing active service in the armed forces.

According to a 2010 Rasmussen poll, 58-percent of U.S. voters said a child born to an illegal immigrant in America should not automatically become a citizen of the United States.  You can express your agreement with the American people by cosponsoring H.R. 140, the Birthright Citizenship Act.  If you would like to cosponsor or have any questions, please contact Zach Whiting at or 5-4426.


Steve King

Member of Congress