Pregnant women hoping to travel to the United States would be scrutinized more closely if the Trump administration implements new policies aimed at curbing birth tourism, according to reports.
Proposed changes to B Nonimmigrant Visa provisions would empower officials responsible for issuing visas to deny such documents to foreign applicants if they are suspected of planning to exploit U.S. automatic citizenship laws.
“This change is intended to address the national security and law enforcement risks associated with birth tourism, including criminal activity associated with the birth tourism industry,” a State Department official reportedly told Axios.
The new rule could be put into effect as soon as this week.
“The Department is amending its regulation on temporary visitors in the B nonimmigrant visa classification to provide that a temporary visit for pleasure does not include birth tourism,” an abstract printed in the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions explains.
The Center For Immigration Studies estimates there could be as many as 33,000 annual ‘tourist births’ in the U.S.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” another federal official told Axios. “Just the legal recognition that this is improper and wrong and not allowed is a significant step forward.”
A Chinese woman recently pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges stemming from her operation of a ‘birth tourism’ business in California.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told CNN the indictments were the “first-ever” brought by the U.S. government against a birth tourism enterprise and its customers.
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