2 Harv. L. & Pol'y Rev. 385 (2008)
Anchor Babies, Over-Breeders, and the Population Bomb: The Reemergence of Nativism and Population Control in Anti-Immigration Policies

handle is hein.journals/harlpolrv2 and id is 389 raw text is: Anchor Babies, Over-Breeders, and
the Population Bomb:
The Reemergence of Nativism and
Population Control in
Anti-Immigration Policies
Priscilla Huang*
At the start of 2008, news of a baby boornlet made headlines.' For
the first time in 35 years, the U.S. fertility rate, or average number of chil-
dren born to each woman, reached 2.1 in 2006, the number statisticians say
is needed for a population to replace itself.2 Demographers pointed to an
increase in the number of immigrants as a main reason for the higher birth
Many economists welcomed the surge in population growth as a sign of
the country's likely future prosperity. While most industrialized nations
struggle with shrinking populations due to low birth rates, the United States
can look forward to a stable tax base and a steady workforce.4
However, not everyone greeted the news with enthusiasm. Many inter-
preted the increased birth rate as an indication of the country's failed immi-
gration laws and turned a hostile eye toward immigrant women.' For
example, when asked to comment about the increased fertility rate, John
Vinson, president of the conservative American Immigration Control Foun-
dation claimed: The [U.S.-born] child is an automatic American citizen,
* Policy and Programs Director, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum. Pris-
cilla received her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law in 2006, where
she was a Public Interest/Public Service Scholar.
1 Mike Stobbe, Against the Trend, U.S. Births Way Up, ASSOCIATED PRESS, Jan. 16, 2008,
available at http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/01/16/against the trend-us
births way-up/.
' Id. Experts also attributed the birth rate increase to declines in contraceptive use and
access to abortion. Id.
' In 2006, Latinas had the highest fertility rate at 2.96 per woman, followed by 2.11 for
black women and 1.86 for whites. John Leland, From the Housing Market to the Maternity
Ward, N.Y. TIMES, Feb. 1, 2008, at A17. Asian and Pacific Islander (API) women also have
higher than average birth rates, and the Asian population is expected to grow at almost the
same rate as the Latino population. JEFFREY S. PASSEL & D'VERA COHN, PEW RESEARCH CTR.,
U.S. POPULATION PROJECTIONS: 2005-2050, at 22 (2008). Although not all Latinos and APIs
are non-citizens, sixty-eight percent of the Latino population and eighty-eight percent of the
API population in 2005 were either foreign-born or U.S.-born children of an immigrant parent.
Id. at 15, 17.

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