Tucker Carlson Rails Against 'Anchor Babies,' Says Even 'Spies Seeking to Undermine Our Country' Can Be Citizens

Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson bemoaned the existence of "anchor babies" Monday, complaining that "children of spies" can become U.S. citizens under the policy.

Carlson made the remarks on the latest edition of his show Tucker Carlson Tonight. The speech introduced a segment about an investigative series that looked into poor living conditions and crimes in Mexico. "Anchor baby" is considered by some to be an offensive term for a person automatically claiming birthright citizenship by being born on U.S. soil to undocumented parents who may benefit from their citizenship.

"Under current American law, every person born on our soil automatically becomes a citizen," said Carlson. "It doesn't matter if their parents are tourists to this country, are here illegally or even spies seeking to undermine our country."

Although children of foreign spies could potentially be born as U.S. citizens, Carlson did not cite any examples. Canada's Supreme Court ruled in December that two children born to Russian spies in that country could keep their Canadian citizenship, but there does appear to be any recent similar U.S. court cases.

"Congress can change that law, obviously, but they don't actually care, so they won't," claimed Carlson.

Tucker Carlson
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has often warned of the U.S. "disaster" he believes is being caused by "illegal immigration." Rich Polk/Getty

Legislation intended to eliminate birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants has been introduced but failed to pass Congress on several occasions. President Donald Trump has also suggested that he would eliminate the practice by executive order, but he is not believed to have the constitutional authority to do so. In fact, any effort to overturn the policy may require a constitutional amendment due to the rule being written into the 14th Amendment.

"What effect does it have?" asked Carlson. "Well, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, last year about 372,000 anchor babies were born in the United States."

Statistics and methodology from The Center for Immigration Studies have been heavily criticized by several organizations including the right-leaning Cato Institute. The group has also been categorized as an anti-immigrant hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which additionally described the group's founder John Tanton as a racist and white nationalist. The group sued SPLC over the designation, but the lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge in September 2019.

"Their parents had no legal right to be here," Carlson continued. "Those children allow their parents though to qualify for a whole suite of welfare benefits and of course, their parents will never be forced to leave the country. That's just one of the many ways that America's open borders have turned into a disaster for this country."

Carlson has consistently called for more strict immigration rules, often making the claim that the country is being harmed by so-called "open border" policies.

Statistics from Pew Research Center suggest that the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. declined significantly from 2007 to 2017. Mexicans make up a minority of undocumented immigrants, with more people from Mexico now leaving the U.S. than entering the country.