61% of Americans Oppose Birthright Citizenship for Children of Illegal Aliens

By Jon Feere and Jon Feere on April 19, 2011

The debate over granting automatic birthright citizenship to children born to illegal aliens has had the effect of shifting public opinion in favor of a more narrow application of the 14th Amendment's Citizenship Clause, according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey.

The survey shows that 61 percent of likely U.S. voters believe that a child born in the United States to a woman who is here illegally should not automatically become a U.S. citizen. This is up three percentage points from a Rasmussen survey on the same subject taken last August. Interestingly, the survey represents the highest level of public opposition to automatic birthright citizenship policies in five years of Rasmussen Reports surveying.

Only 28 percent of respondents disagreed and felt that children born to illegal immigrants should automatically become American citizens, a percentage that is down six points from the August survey. Only 11 percent were unsure.

According to Rasmussen Reports, 77 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of voters not affiliated with either major political party oppose granting automatic U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal aliens. Democrats are evenly divided on the question.

The Center for Immigration Studies has produced a number of reports and blogs on the subject of birthright citizenship, all of which are available online.