Terror babies: Sleeper agents in diapers threaten U.S. security
Some Texas Republicans suggesting that the 14th amendment to the U.S. constitution be repealed are calling children born in the U.S. by illegal immigrants “terror babies.” The 14th amendment grants U.S. citizenship to all persons born on American soil. Texas congressman Louie Gohmert and state representative Debbie Riddle said that pregnant illegal immigrants come to the U.S. and have babies on the taxpayer’s dime. Then they take their little U.S. citizens home to be trained as deadly sleeper agents, who return as an adults to attack from within.
The terror babies conspiracy
The terror babies conspiracy was revealed this week by Anderson Cooper on CNN. Texas Republicans Riddle and Gohmert claimed they got the information about the terror babies from conversations with “former FBI officials.” Gohmert used terror babies to argue the 14th Amendment should be changed. Riddle said foreign women are having babies in the U.S. “with the nefarious purpose of turning them into little terrorists, who will then come back to the U.S. and do us harm.”
When pressed by Cooper, neither could provide any evidence of the existence of terror babies. Riddle complained on camera that before the taping no one warned her that she would have to come up with actual facts during the interview.
U.S. laws make little terrorists unlikely
Current U.S. laws make the scenario for breeding terrorists unlikely, according to Think Progress. The process to obtain a tourist visa to the U.S. is rigorous. Applicants must provide evidence of the purpose of the trip, fingerprints and photographs, and undergo an interview by a visa officer at the U.S. Embassy. While there are immigrant women — documented and undocumented — who have babies in the U.S. who become American citizens, their purpose in the country is usually to work.
Anchor babies a slow boat to citizenship
The terror babies idea is an escalated perversion of the “anchor babies” talking point used by Republican senators who argue the 14th amendment needs to be rewritten to curb automatic “birthright citizenship.” However PolitiFact reports that having an anchor baby won’t put a Mexican or Middle Eastern mom on the fast track to become a U.S. citizen. It actually takes more than 30 years. Citizen children cannot sponsor their parents for citizenship until they turn 21. If the parents seeking sponsorship happen to be illegal immigrants, they must return home for 10 years before applying to re-enter the U.S.
FBI evidence a fabrication
After Gohmert and Riddle spun their terror babies horror story, CNN’s Cooper interviewed Tom Fuentes, who served as the FBI’s assistant director in the office of international operations from 2004 to 2008. Fuentes said there was never a credible report on terror babies. Elise Hu of the Texas Tribune made an open-records request for communication between Riddle’s office and former FBI agents. No such records exist.