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Trump Admin Announces New Restrictions on Pregnant Foreigners To Prevent 'Birth Tourism'

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The Trump administration has issued a new rule that would allow the State Department to reject visa applications from women who it believes want to travel to the U.S. strictly for the purpose of having a child born on American soil.

The rule to crack down on what is called “birth tourism” took effect Friday.

Last year, officials announced charged 20 people in connection with various schemes that coached Chinese women on how to come to America and have children who would then become citizens by virtue of being born in the U.S.

Officials said in one such scheme, known as “You Win USA,” each mother was charged between $40,000 and $80,000.

The scheme brought more than 500 pregnant women to the U.S., according to a Justice Department news release.

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“America’s way of life is not for sale,” Joseph Macias, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Los Angeles, said at the time.

“This rule change is necessary to enhance public safety, national security, and the integrity of our immigration system,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement Thursday. “The birth tourism industry threatens to overburden valuable hospital resources and is rife with criminal activity, as reflected in Federal prosecutions. Closing this glaring immigration loophole will combat these endemic abuses and ultimately protect the United States from the national security risks created by this practice.”

“Permitting short-term visitors with no demonstrable ties to the United States to obtain visas to travel to the United States primarily to obtain U.S. citizenship for a child creates a potential long-term vulnerability for national security,” the new State Department rule says.

“Foreign governments or entities, including entities of concern to the United States, may seek to benefit from birth tourism for purposes that would threaten the security of the United States. This rule would help close a potential vulnerability to national security that would be posed by any foreign government or entity that sought to exploit birth tourism to enhance access to the United States,” the rule adds.

Does this rule close a dangerous immigration loophole?

The rule does not ban pregnant women from traveling to the United States, nor does it ban pregnant women from getting visas. However, it does require pregnant women seeking tourist visas to prove to officials that “birth tourism” is not their intent.

“This rule establishes that travel to the United States with the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States is an impermissible basis for the issuance of a B nonimmigrant visa,” the rule says.

The policy was criticized by immigration activists:

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“Trump continues to find new ways to try to divide and attack families,” Adrian Reyna, the strategy director of the nonprofit immigration activist group United We Dream, said in a statement, according to CNBC.

“Discriminating against pregnant individuals by blocking them from coming to visit the country does nothing but keep people from their loved ones,” Reyna said. “This rule is based on Trump’s racist fixation on ending birthright citizenship and essentially stopping the movement of people into this country.”

The rule says there is “a stark difference between aliens using a temporary visitor visa for the purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for their children and the extensive requirements applicants must meet to naturalize to become U.S citizens. “

“This regulatory change reflects changes to U.S. foreign policy, specifically in the context of U.S. visas, that significantly narrow the ability of foreign nationals residing abroad to easily obtain U.S. citizenship for their children without complying with any of the rigorous requirements for permanent residence or naturalization,” the State Department says in the rule.

“By obtaining a child’s U.S. citizenship through birth tourism, foreign nationals are able to help that child avoid the scrutiny, standards, and procedures that he or she would normally undergo if he or she sought to become a U.S. citizen through naturalization,” the rule says.

The State Department says a “birth tourism” industry has grown that seeks to profit by exploiting loopholes in the immigration system.

“An entire ‘birth tourism’ industry has evolved to assist pregnant women from other countries to come to the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship for their children by giving birth in the United States, and thereby entitle their children to the benefits of U.S. citizenship,” the rule says.

“Birth tourism companies advertise their businesses abroad by promoting the citizenship-related benefits of giving birth in the United States,” it adds. “Companies tout a broad range of benefits for the U.S. citizen child and eventually its family, including, but not limited to, access to free education, less pollution, retirement benefits, the ability to compete for jobs in the U.S. government, and the ability for the whole family to eventually immigrate to the United States.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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