US Restrictions on “Pregnant” Visas

The US State Department plans to impose travel restrictions for pregnant women visiting the United States in order to give birth to obtain US citizenship.

The move comes as an attempt to curb “childbirth tourism,” as some foreign women visit the United States, especially for childbirth, to obtain American citizenship for their children.

In the past, President Donald Trump has said that the administration is “seriously considering” ending the acquired citizenship.

Last week, a Hong Kong airline apologized after asking a woman to take a pregnancy test before boarding a flight from Japan to Saipan, a US region that is a popular destination for mothers in Southeast Asia.

It is not clear how the new regulations will determine which women should be investigated. However, Midori Nishida, one of the women who had a pregnancy test on a trip from Japan to Saipan, said the papers she saw indicate that she was chosen because she was “noticed that she was pregnant”.

Recently, government officials of the State Council revealed to the media that the Trump administration may soon introduce a new immigration rule restricting foreigners from having children in the United States. The rules are designed to discourage foreign pregnant women from deliberately traveling to the United States and then giving birth to their children in the United States in order to allow children to automatically obtain U.S. citizenship.

According to the Voice of America report, the largest number of pregnant women who come to the United States are China, Russia and Nigeria. These foreigners used the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to automatically obtain citizenship for children born in the United States, intentionally entered the United States through a tourist or other visa, and then gave birth to the children in the United States.

The official said that “fertility tourism” poses national security and law enforcement risks to the United States, and may even trigger criminal activities, so modifying this policy is also a government effort to strengthen visa review procedures. According to data released by the Immigration Research Center, the number of babies born to foreign tourists in the United States each year is about 33,000.

President Trump proposed long before the 2018 midterm elections to end “born citizenship.” At that time, both parties in Congress considered the move too difficult, because it needed to be achieved by amending the US Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment has been in force since 1868, and is designed to protect the rights of people born in the United States.

Another senior administration official said that if this immigration regulation is to be changed, relevant government departments will re-examine the application requirements for visit / tourism type B visas. Immigration officials have the right to refuse to issue tourist visas or short-term business visas if they understand that the applicants are pregnant and may have children in the United States. However, he also said that the actual operating procedures are still unclear. For example, it is unclear whether the visa officer will directly determine whether a female applicant is pregnant or not as a measure of whether a visa is granted to them.

Jeffrey Gorsky, former chief legal counsel of the US Department of State’s Visa Office, said that many of those who have come to the United States to have children have obtained visas to the United States, which is a major obstacle to solving this problem. In addition, many people in the United States who are committed to controlling illegal immigration believe that the Fourteenth Amendment is now being used by illegal immigrants. According to the US Census Bureau, about 8% (or 340,000) of babies born in the United States in 2008 were born to illegal immigrants.

Tom Hman, a former director of immigration and customs enforcement in the United States, said birthright citizenship was a “key enabler” for illegal immigration. He once told Fox News: “They (illegal immigrants) believe that this is a golden ticket for them to come to the United States.” He also said that these illegal immigrants are telling the world as long as the children they give birth are U.S. citizens can freely enter and leave the United States, and the US government will never be able to resolve the border crisis.

State Department officials said that although these things cannot be solved all at once, the U.S. government’s move to modify immigration laws to combat “fertility tourism” has taken at least the first step, telling people “this practice is legally not allowed” .

Mr. Zheng, a legal person in Los Angeles, said that although the citizenship policy has existed in the United States for more than 150 years, it is now facing challenges. For example, he said, some pregnant women from China brought their children back to China for education after giving birth in the United States, and then returned to the United States when they were 18 years old. But this way “they will bring back a set of values ​​that are totally contrary to universal values