Trump Administration Rule Change Ends 'Birth Tourism'

Guatemalan immigrant Amariliz Ortiz joins families impacted by the immigration raids during a rally calling on the Obama Administration to protect Central American women and children seeking refuge in the United States. (AP Photo / Nick Ut)

Trump Administration detractors often accuse the administration of issuing controversial policy directives whenever they want to deflect attention away from the latest media generated controversy.

Of course, the latest media generated controversy is this sham impeachment trial in the Senate where the President is being charged with obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.

The controversial policy announcement? The end of so called “birth tourism.” The White House issued this statement on Thursday:

“Beginning January 24, 2020, the State Department will no longer issue temporary visitor (B-1/B-2) visas to aliens seeking to enter the United States for “birth tourism” – the practice of traveling to the United States to secure automatic and permanent American citizenship for their children by giving birth on American soil.  This rule change is necessary to enhance public safety, national security, and the integrity of our immigration system.  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.  It will also defend American taxpayers from having their hard-earned dollars siphoned away to finance the direct and downstream costs associated with birth tourism.  The integrity of American citizenship must be protected.”

“Birth tourism” is a multi billion dollar industry that many Chinese nationals are using to exploit the 14th amendment and our antiquated immigration system.

“The businesses coached their clients to deceive United States immigration officials and pay indigent rates at hospitals to deliver their babies, even though many of the clients were wealthy, investigators said. Some Chinese couples were charged as much as $100,000 for a birth-tourism package that included housing, nannies and shopping excursions to Gucci. A tip sheet for customers, entitled “Strategies to Maximize the Chance of Entry,” recommended stating on a visa application that pregnant mothers intended to stay at the “5-star” hotel, “Trump International Waikiki Beach,” to convince immigration officials that they were well-to-do vacationers, not mothers traveling with the intention of giving birth on American soil, investigators said.”

Conservative African American leaders with Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington D.C., last year praised another immigration rule change made by the administration.

“American immigration law for almost 140 years has operated with the goal of stopping people from coming here to take advantage of our welfare. What was applicable to European immigrants in the past should be applicable to those coming from all over the world today,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper. “It’s unfair for American taxpayers, specifically the working poor, to have to subsidize immigrants from the day they arrive. And it’s insulting to put those people on a path toward citizenship.”

Not only is birth tourism unfair to the American taxpayer and to legitimate immigrants wanting to come to America legally, it also puts our national security at grave risk.

What would stop foreign governments from exploiting and recruiting individuals born here as the result of birth tourism yet were raised overseas? These American “citizens” would have absolutely no attachment to the United States.

Also disconcerting is the fact that foreign nationals, with American born children, would be able to avoid the scrutiny they would normally undergo if they became citizens through the naturalization process.

The Fourteenth Amendment was never intended to be abused through practices such as birth tourism.

The amendment was ratified in 1868 to protect the rights of native born African Americans whose rights were being denied after emancipation.

Its sole purpose was to prevent state governments from ever denying citizenship to African Americans born in the United States. I sincerely hope the President’s rule change motivates Congress to enact a law to make this rule change permanent.

Christopher Arps
 

Christopher Arps is a managing partner with the public affairs and communications consulting firm Red Tail Strategies, LLC. He is a national advisory board member for the National Center for Public Policy Research's Project 21. He's the co founder of Move-On-Up.org. President of Americans for Citizen Voting (ACV), a 501c4 dedicated to the belief that only citizens should vote in our local, state and national elections. He's a guest host and contributor on his local conservative radio station (KFTK 97.1) in St. Louis, Mo.

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