The Trump administration has published new visa regulations on Thursday aimed at limiting pregnant women coming to the United States to give birth so their baby can have U.S. citizenship.
The U.S. consular officers will decline entry if they determine that the applicant is coming to the U.S. primary to give birth, according to the new rules in the Federal Register.
As per the new regulations, to be approved for a visa, pregnant women should have valid medical reasons to give birth and to prove they have sufficient funds to cover their hospital stay in the U.S.
Until now, children who are born in the U.S. were automatically granted American citizenship, a right guaranteed by the 14th amendment of the constitution.
The common practice of traveling to the U.S. to give birth is fundamentally not illegal. The pregnant women are usually honest about their reasons to apply for a U.S. visa, and even show signed agreements with local doctors and hospitals.
While the new amendments deal with birth tourism aimed at wealthy immigrants coming mainly from China and Russia, President Trump also has turned away future mothers coming over the US-Mexico border.
Those women are often vulnerable and become easy victims of organized crime groups operating birth tourism agencies for visa frauds or tax evasion.
The White House press officer, Stephanie Grisham, said an official statement, that the ”integrity of American citizenship should be protected.”
According to Grisham, the new measure aims to combat the continuing abuses and protect the country from the national security risks associated with this practice.
In addition to that, the new rules will protect American taxpayers from having their money siphoned away to finance the costs associated with birth tourism, Grisham highlighted
Donald Trump’s administration has been limiting all forms of immigration, but he targeted the issue of birthright citizenship in particular. The President has railed against it in public on numerous occasions and threatened to end it, but academics and members of his administration have said it is not that simple to do it.
The State Department lacks official statistics on how many foreign women travel to the country to give birth. The Center of Immigration Studies, a non-profit organization advocating for stricter immigration control, estimated that in 2012, nearly 36,000 foreign-born women gave birth in the U.S. and left the country shortly afterward.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree that the birth tourism should be limited?