A motel in Southern California used as a “birth tourism lodge” by Chinese nationals has been ordered closed down, according to local media.
Conditional use permits for the JR Motel were revoked by city officials in Orange following a slew of code and operations violations.
“The JR Motel doesn’t have a sign or take reservations from the general public. Instead, it caters to well-off Chinese women who come to the United States while pregnant with the intention of giving birth to a child who, by law, will be an American citizen,” the Orange County Register reports. “Though the practice isn’t illegal, city officials said such long-term residency at the motel fits the category of a boarding or lodging house, and the location, 428 E. Lincoln Avenue, is not zoned for either.”
“The owner remodeled the building after receiving city approval in 2015 to run a motel, increasing the number of rooms and making other changes.”
The motel must be closed by the end of month, however, 10 rooms are currently occupied by pregnant women from China who allegedly cannot travel home, according to owner Chi Huang’s attorney Tony Lu, who has reportedly requested a ‘compromise’ in finalizing any official decisions before May.
“His client, from 2015 to present, demonstrated very little respect for our law, very little respect for our community, very little respect for the human life of his tenants. And he was focused solely on making money,” Orange Councilman Chip Monaco said during a teleconference with Lu. “Yet Mr. Lu right now is asking us to give his client an opportunity to make money on the back of all the violations we have seen to date.”
“I am in no way interested in helping Mr. Huang capitalize and make money yet again on his poor bad faith behavior in this town. If there was ever a case to revoke a (permit), if there are any criminal charges we could pursue, I would be completely and 100 percent supportive of that.”
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