About 295,000 babies were born to unauthorized-immigrant parents in 2013, making up 8 percent of the 3.9 million U.S. births that year, according to a new, preliminary Pew Research Center estimate based on the latest available federal government data. This was a decline from a peak of 370,000 in 2007.
Births to unauthorized-immigrant parents rose sharply from 1980 to the mid-2000s, but dipped since then, echoing overall population trends for unauthorized immigrants. In 2007, an estimated 9 percent of all U.S. babies were born to unauthorized-immigrant parents, meaning that at least one parent was an unauthorized immigrant.
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1868, grants an automatic right of citizenship to anyone born in the United States. But in recent years, some politicians have called for repeal of birthright citizenship, including Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who says that so-called anchor babies are a magnet for illegal immigration.
A Pew Research survey in February 2011 found that a majority of Americans (57 percent) opposed changing the Constitution to end birthright citizenship, while 39 percent favored such a change. That same survey found that most Americans (87 percent) said they were aware of the constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship.