Birth Tourism Equals Illegal Immigration | Law Firm Newswire

Birth Tourism Equals Illegal Immigration

Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 3, 2015 - Pregnant women from other countries are attempting to give birth on U.S. soil to establish an anchor for eventual citizenship. This trend began quietly in East Asia and is proliferating at an alarming rate.

Anyone born in the U.S. is automatically a U.S. citizen — period. It does not matter what the parents’ immigration status may or may not be. Taking advantage of this and entering the country in order to give birth to an “anchor baby” is a form of illegal immigration.
Recently, a Taiwanese woman gave birth somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Instead of landing in Los Angeles, the airplane diverted to Alaska for the mother to receive postnatal care. The mother was deported back to Taiwan and may have to pay the Taiwanese government the cost of diverting the plane. The baby remained in the U.S.

A very large question about this situation still remains unanswered. Exactly where was the baby born? In U.S. airspace or not? The baby’s mother needs to prove where the child was born by providing birth documentation, the exact time of birth, the latitude and longitude at the time of birth and an excerpt of a medical or captain’s log.

“The woman in question in this high flying adventure is in a world of hurt, both in the U.S. and her native country, not because she gave birth, but because she lied about being pregnant to get onboard to come to the United States to give birth to an anchor baby. This is referred to as birth tourism,” said respected Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee.

Birth tourism is a trending industry that is currently prominent among Chinese parents, and is widening its scope to Taiwanese families. Figures provided by the Chinese government suggest 10,000 babies or more were born to Chinese tourists in 2012. Many birth tourists also book into the same maternity hotels, many of which are in Los Angeles.

Birth tourism is differentiated from Latin American babies born in the U.S., after the parents have settled, by the fact that pregnant East Asian women coming to the U.S. on a six-month tourist visa are doing so only for the purpose of having a child that will instantly become a U.S. citizen.

Tourist visas are for the purposes of tourism, not giving birth, which has caused embassy officials in East Asia and China to ask further questions when women applying for a tourism visa appear pregnant. When the women land in the U.S. some Customs and Border Protection officers also ask the same question. These actions are opening a door to human rights complaints.

“It is important to note that lying to embassy officials and/or the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials is illegal. If a pregnant woman enters the U.S. and states she is not pregnant, but later delivers a baby, she has broken the law and the terms of her visa have been invalidated,” Banerjee said.

The fact that the Taiwanese mother was rapidly deported out of the country within four days of giving birth seems to indicate that U.S. government is serious about cracking down on the birth tourism industry. The underlying reason many East Asian families want to give birth in the U.S. is because U.S. citizens have access to cheaper education at American universities, where tuition is more expensive for foreign students. It becomes a financial loss for the U.S. when its taxpayers pay for students overseas to have cheaper education.

“My advice to a pregnant woman thinking to enter the U.S. as a tourist to have a child in the U.S. to further its education later is think long and hard about the potential consequences to yourself and your baby. This is a serious breach of the law,” Banerjee said.

Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
131 Brooks Street, Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139

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