Despite ongoing crack downs, pregnant Chinese women continue to fly to the U.S. to ensure American citizenship for their babies.
For these mothers, the chance to give their children “better lives” outweighs the repercussions of getting caught.
Birth tourism is not a new practice, however, without explicit laws preventing pregnant women from entering the U.S., there are those who take advantage.
Apparently, some even make a profit off the system. There are Chinese listing sites naming maternity hotels in America, such as in Southern California, where pregnant women stay just before giving birth.
The crack down by U.S. authorities comes in response to complaints over the unfair gaming of the immigration system.
Kelly, a birth tourist herself, explained (via The Los Angeles Times):
“China has developed very quickly. But… Chinese people still have this perception of America as a dream place to live, that it is bigger, better, stronger.”
This might be an outdated perspective, especially when one considers the fact that 96% of Chinese people claimed their lives are better than their parents’, according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center.
However, some suspect that the rampant birth tourism is aided by large-scale visa fraud, which then would be illegal.
“There is nothing in the law that makes it illegal for pregnant women to enter the United States,” Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said. “People who provide false information in order to gain entry to the U.S. pose a potential security vulnerability.”