‘Just the legal recognition that this is improper and wrong and not allowed is a significant step forward…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) As part of President Donald Trump’s broad to effort to create a fair and meritorious immigration system, his administration plans to issue new rules that would end “birth tourism.”
Birth tourism occurs when women come as visitors to America during the third trimester of their pregnancy with the intention of giving birth to a baby who will automatically become a citizen of the United States, Axios reported.
Unlike illegal immigrants who may exploit birthright citizenship by having so-called anchor babies, birth tourists often will return and maintain allegiance to their country of origin, but their children are able to travel freely within the U.S.
That creates potential security concerns over matters such as espionage and terrorism.
Trump plans to use an executive order to limit birth tourism by sharpening the screening process for migrants and tourists who come to the United States on visas.
State Department officials will have the authority to deny B visas (short-term tourism visas) to people they believe will abuse America’s birthright citizenship loophole.
“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,” according to an anonymous State Department official who spoke with Axios.
Trump administration officials acknowledged that the screening process will not prevent all birth tourism or eliminate all national security threats.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” an anonymous senior official said. “Just the legal recognition that this is improper and wrong and not allowed is a significant step forward.”
Not all of those who give birth while on temporary visas decide to leave the U.S. Late last year, a report revealed that legal immigrants—oftentimes visiting on visas—gave birth to more than 30,000 “anchor babies” who were granted birthright citizenship.
Trump has proposed ending birthright citizenship, since it arbitrarily advantages migrants who enter the United States and give birth.
“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States … with all of those benefits,” Trump said, Axios reported. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”