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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Baby Tourism - U.S. Citizenship for Sale

Is U.S. Citizenship for sale? Some Chinese families believe so. For just under $30,000, women with a tourist visa are staying in maternity hotels and giving birth to their children. The advantage is twofold. The child receives a U.S. birth certificate and the parents are not subject to the Chinese law that restricts each couple to one child per family. This law applies only to children born in China.

Baby Tourism is a growing industry, especially in California where birthing centers are springing up to house pregnant women who obtain a tourist visa and come to the U.S. so that their child will be born a U.S. Cititzen. One Chinese father who was interviewed on the PBS video - New Americans said his child will have access to a free American education and that was part of the decision for his wife to give birth on U.S. soil. These "tourists," mostly Asians, have found a loophole in the U.S. Constitution (14th Amendment) that gives citizenship to someone born here and single family homes have been converted (without regard to city codes) into maternity homes for these women. They also fraudulently declare they are local residents in order to receive health care at local hospitals. Complaints come from both families living in close proximity to these overcrowded homes and also the Asian women who pay thousands of dollars thinking they will be staying in a maternity home equivalent to a five star hotel and without knowledge of the English language, sign forms they are unable to read that declare them residents of the U.S.

Many of these maternity homes are being shut down due to code violations, but this continues to be a thriving business. Whether these are wealthy women from Asia or illegal immigrants from Mexico and South America, if their child is born on U.S. soil the child is automatically a U.S. Citizen.

What are your thoughts?

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