The Trump administration is imposing new visa rules effective Friday, January 24th, restricting “birth tourism,” in which women travel to the United States to give birth so their children can have US citizenship. The regulations address one of President Donald Trump’s main political priorities.
Under this amended regulation, pregnant women will be denied for B-1/B-2 visas (temporary visit for business or pleasure). Pregnant women need to prove they must give birth in the US for medical reasons and establish their ability to pay all costs associated with such treatment. The new regulation would not apply to people who are applying for admission to the United States through ESTA
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regulation chip away at the number of foreigners who take advantage of the constitutional provision granting“birthright citizenship” to anyone born in the United States.
this will not include travelers coming from European and Asian countries enrolled in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of those countries to come to the US without a visa for temporary stays.
officials said that consular officers would ask women questions about their pregnancy due to visual cues such as appearing to be pregnant or listing “medical treatment” as a reason for wanting to travel to the United States.
Even if a woman is found to be pregnant and likely to deliver her child in the United States, she could still be granted a visa if she was able to demonstrate a valid reason for the travel such a visiting an ailing relative or attending a business meeting or conference, they said.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement: “Closing this glaring immigration loophole will combat these endemic abuses and ultimately protect the United States from the national security risks created by this practice.
“It will also defend American taxpayers from having their hard-earned dollars siphoned away to finance the direct and downstream costs associated with birth tourism. The integrity of American citizenship must be protected.”
Birth tourism is a business where companies for a steep fee offer foreign women the chance to come to the US on a tourist visa, have a baby, get medical care, get citizenship, have a place to stay with their newborn, and then leave. It’s distinct from what Trump and his allies deride as “anchor babies,” referring to poor women who enter the US illegally at the US-Mexico border to give birth to a child and then stay in the US illegally. But the end result is the same: a coveted US passport.
the State Department estimates that thousands of children are born in the United States in birth immigration. Reporting from U.S. embassies and consulates has documented trends showing an increasing number of B visa applications whose stated primary purpose of travel is to give birth in the United States.