Immigration

Bush's Despicable Slam Against Asian Birth Tourists

They are a boon to America and should be greeted with open arms

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The Donald has upped the ante on the GOP's game of which-immigrant-group-to-throw-under-the-bus. He threatened to scrap the 14th Amendment guarantee of birthright citizenship – handing automatic citizenship to any

Asian Babies
Sam Antonio Photography / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

kid born on American soil — to fight the scourge of "anchor babies" that Latino parents alleged have to gain green card sponsors.  And Jeb Bush trumped him by harrumphing that the real villains are not Latinos but rich Asians who engage in "birth tourism" — coming to America to give birth so that their kids would get U.S. citizenship.

In other words, Trump wants to deny Latinos birthright citizenship because they are poor and mooch off welfare and Bush questions Asians because they are rich that they can buy citizenship.

But anchor babies are a hyped-up problem like Trump's bouffant, I note in The Week, and Asian birth tourists an unmitigated blessing for the United States:

Restrictionists constantly accuse "anchor baby" parents of mooching off American taxpayers by using emergency services for child delivery and collecting welfare through their American child. (Never mind that unauthorized parent-headed households receive far less welfare than native ones of similar income, and are far less prone to welfare dependency.) But none of that applies to birth tourists, who, with few exceptions, pay for the entire cost of delivery out of pocket. In fact, the agency that formed the cornerstone of the Bloomberg story went out of its way to ensure that its clients don't use public money, and keep copious documentation to prove that.

More to the point, birth tourist babies go home to be raised during their most expensive phase — only to possibly return to America after their 18th birthday, during their most productive phase. In effect, birth tourism allows America to outsource the raising of its citizens, resulting in enormous savings, given that it costs a whopping $300,000 to raise a child in a middle-income family in America today.

Every adult immigrant, even poor Latinos, constitute a windfall for America, given that America reaps the dividends of another society's investment in them. (Indeed, immigration is arguably a far cheaper way than having children for a society to maintain its population level.) But birth tourist babies are a special boon because they are the product of super-ambitious parents who are obviously sparing no expense or effort to build their child's full potential and give him/her options.

Go here to read the piece.