Trump Administration Rolls out New Rule to Limit ‘Birth Tourism’

President Donald Trump’s administration rolled out a new rule on Thursday that aims to limit “birth tourism” by women who enter the United States on tourist visas with the intention of obtaining citizenship for their babies born on American soil.

Under the State Department regulation, which will take effect on Friday, pregnant women applying for visitor visas could be required to prove they have a specific reason for travel beyond giving birth, such as a medical necessity.

Trump faces re-election in November and has made restricting legal and illegal immigration a focus of his 2020 campaign. During his presidency, he has criticized the right to citizenship for any person born in the United States, which applies even to children born to tourists. But scrapping that right would require a change in the U.S. Constitution.

No U.S. law bars foreign women from traveling to the United States to give birth, although consular officers previously could require visitors to prove they have the financial means to pay for a medical procedure if that is the reason for the trip.

In some cases, alleged operators and customers of companies promoting “birth tourism” in the United States have been charged with providing false information to immigration authorities in order to conceal plans to give birth in the United States.

A State Department official said in an emailed statement that the new rule aims to address national security risks, including criminal activity associated with the industry for birth-related trips.

The final rule says consular officers must scrutinize female travelers to determine whether they might be pregnant, but does not explain how officers will make such determinations.

The State Department official said U.S. officials will not ask all female visa applicants if they are pregnant, or intend to become pregnant, but instead will only raise the issue if they have “a specific articulable reason” to believe the sole purpose of the U.S. visit is to give birth.

But critics worried the new rule could lead to discrimination.

“It is absurd that the Trump administration is turning embassy employees into reproductive policemen,” Kerri Talbot, a director with the Immigration Hub, a Washington-based advocacy organization, said on Thursday. “Women will have to conceal their pregnancies just to get a tourist visa to visit the U.S.”

Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that approximately 9,300 children were born in the United States to mothers who live overseas in 2017, with an additional 900 born in U.S. territories. However, the CDC did not examine births to tourists specifically.

The State Department said that precisely estimating the number of individuals who give birth in the United States after entering the country on tourist visas “is challenging” since the agency does not publish data regarding applicants’ reasons for travel. But the agency said there were increasing reports of the practice from U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.

(Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington D.C.; Editing by Mica Rosenberg and Jonathan Oatis)

Responses

  1. >Screwtape & WHC<

    I don't look for any changes to be made to the 14th Amendment or to our laws since any limitations placed on "anchor babies" would have a direct effect on the number of House Representatives (no more could be added if only LEGAL residents were counted). However, I feel Section I of the 14th Amendment is being partially ignored in that it says (in part): ". . .are citizens of the United States AND OF THE STATE WHEREIN THEY RESIDE". I would think the babies – AND their parents – should/would be a permanent resident of the State where the child were born; NOT there to simply acquire US citizenship. Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps, etc.

  2. I believe that citizenship should be earned–a la Israel, Rome, etc.–and not just handed out because your mommy dropped you across a border.

  3. The incidences of “birth tourism” are well-documented and not just for illegals from south of the border.

    Consider the number of “busts” of “hostels” hosting Asian “tourists” coming here to have babies with dual-citizenship. Google it.

    This “accident of birth” citizenship should be stopped.

  4. Since liberal idiot judges insist on misinterpreting the 14th amendment (written by Republicans to ensure freed slaves their American citizenship), it’s time to limit “anchor babies”.

    Let’s limit chain migration as a FIRST step.

  5. “The final rule says consular officers must scrutinize female travelers to determine whether they might be pregnant, but does not explain how officers will make such determinations.

    But critics worried the new rule could lead to discrimination.

    “It is absurd that the Trump administration is turning embassy employees into reproductive policemen,” Kerri Talbot” Article

    I am confused.

    Since embassy employees are not allowed to ask if a woman is pregnant, how can one tell if a woman is pregnant at an early stage? He wants to force embassy employees to be clairvoyant. What a fool he is!

    This policy has the fingerprints of that racist Steven Miller all over it.

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