There’s a new concept happening known as “birth tourism.” It’s where people look to travel into the United States on either a nonimmigrant tourist or business visa with the sole purpose of giving birth while here. That way, they obtain US citizenship for the child.
Unfortunately, this story happens too often, and the State Department has finally released a rule that will make it more difficult for foreigners who are pregnant to travel into the US.
The final rule goes into effect on Friday to allow consular officers to deny a visa if they have “reason to believe” that a traveler is seeking a visa for the purpose of obtaining citizenship for their child. This would require the traveler to prove that there’s a legitimate reason for their travel.
The State Department identifies that birth tourism is a threat to national security. The rule allows for a better policy in place. Further, the birth tourism industry is riddled with international criminal schemes and criminal activity. To back this up, there are various federal prosecutions of entities and individuals involved in that industry.
Officials have explained to reporters what some of the new rules are. They will not be asking every female applicant whether they intend to give birth in the United States. Pregnancy tests won’t become part of the visa vetting process. However, if a woman lists her travel as “medical reasons,” they will be questioned about intent.
Not surprisingly, pro-immigration groups are denouncing the regulation as “medically dangerous” and discriminatory. What they fail to realize is that the United States is allowed to discriminate who they allow into the country if it is going to be a threat to national security. Further, their claim of it being medically dangerous is ridiculous because pregnant women are, technically, limited to the amount of travel that they can do after reaching a certain number of months. Realistically, then, it would be safer if the woman doesn’t travel at all.
The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning organization, was reeling over the new rule. Tom Jawetz, the center’s VP of immigration policy said that it will make it harder for women of color to enter the US on a tourist or business visa. However, that’s not true. It will only be harder if the woman is pregnant and plans to have her baby in the US. As for his claim of the rule creating barriers for those who “seek urgent medical care,” perhaps pregnant women from another nation shouldn’t be entering the US if they require urgent medical care. They should be taking care of that in their home country.
While some see it as a way for Trump to limit legal immigration, it’s strictly for national security. People cannot continue to travel into the US and deliver their children for the purpose of them gaining citizenship. This is a loophole that’s in place that too many people are taking advantage of. As such, it’s not considered a form of “legal” immigration when people are doing it for the purpose of abusing a loophole.
Throughout Trump’s presidential run and while in office, he has rallied against the practice of providing US citizenship to babies born to non-citizen parents in the US. The United States is one of the few countries to do so. Throughout Europe, if a child is born in a particular country, they aren’t given citizenship to that country unless their parents are citizens. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the US should get rid of it.
Perhaps that would make the Dems and the pro-immigration groups happier. If we were to get rid of the rule about providing US citizenship to babies born to non-citizens, then the rule about not letting pregnant women into the country wouldn’t be so bad. However, the Dems and the pro-immigration groups don’t like the rule because they know that people are abusing the loophole – and therefore, they want to keep the loophole open because they care more about going against Trump than they do national security.
Trump has been very vocal about how the birthright citizenship is over. He doesn’t want people coming into the country illegally, having a baby, while letting the US take care of it for the “next 85 years.”
Why Trump hasn’t already ended the citizenship by executive order is that it could override the 14th amendment that stays “all persons born” within the US are citizens of the United States. Although it’s in the constitution, it opens the country up to too many problems. It has to be addressed sooner rather than later and this new rule is a step in the right direction.