The 14th Amendement needs to go ASAP!
SAIPAN BIRTH TOURISM:
Saipan, the largest of 15 islands that constitute the Northern Mariana islands is a nippy four hour flight from China and has become a popular destination for “birth tourism” because the group of islands are US commonwealth territories and so babies born there gain US citizenship and you can get a 45 day visa on arrival.
In fact, a whole sector of tourism specialization is springing up around the citizenship scheme.
Travel agencies in China have caught onto the trend and now offer travel packages catering purely to these expectant mothers. For $27,000 you can fly from China to Saipan, give birth and return home with your beautiful American baby.
Between 2009 and 2012 the number of Chinese women going to Saipan to give birth increased by 35%, totaling 282 Chinese-American babies. In 2012 a staggering 71% of all births in Saipan were to Chinese women.
While this isn’t illegal, it certainly is something that needs to be addressed. The 14th Amendment just continues to foster immigration abuse wherever it can be exploited
FROM ORIGINAL INTENT TO "MATERNITY HOTELS":
Every law seems to have unintended consequences. The original intent of granting citizenship to every baby born on U.S. soil (done within the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) was to avoid creating an underclass, particularly among people who were brought to the U.S. as slaves.
(Congress was responding to the infamous Dred Scottdecision of 1857, in which the U.S. Supreme Court denied citizenship rights to freed slaves.)
Now, however, a cottage industry has seemingly developed to assist people from outside the U.S. — particularly from Asia — to come here on temporary visas in order to give birth to new little U.S. citizens.
The price tag for such “maternity hotel” services tends toward the tens of thousands of dollars. The fee covers travel and visa arrangements, medical care, and more. (See, for instance, “Giving birth in U.S. to get babies citizenship draws suspicion” and “In suburbs of L.A., a cottage industry of birth tourism” and “Chinese birth tourism booms in Southern California.”)
One such service reportedly advertises, “We guarantee that each baby can obtain a U.S. passport and related documents.” That’s not a hard guarantee to make, given the Constitutional backing!
Some of the reasons expectant parents give for wanting to give birth in the U.S. have immediate or short-term utility. For example, interviewees from China mentioned goals such as as circumventing that country’s one-child restrictions, or wanting to ensure that their child will be able to study in the U.S. or have the protection of the U.S. government in times of difficulty.
Other reasons, however, are remarkably long-term in scope. The families are creating an “anchor” for future U.S. immigration — and it’s one that can’t help them until the child turns 21.
To be clear, having a child who is a U.S. citizen does NOT provide any immediate rights to live or gain status in the United States. Only a U.S. citizen who is age 21 or over can petition his or her parents for U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card). That application process alone will likely take at least a year.
What’s more, if the little citizens’ parents were to take a chance and attempt to remain in the U.S. illegally for the requisite 21 years, they’d become “inadmissible” — that is, ineligible for a green card — based on their history of unlawful presence here. (In fact, the “birth tourism” agencies likely warn the parents of this, since reports have it that they fly home soon after the births.)
There’s nothing in U.S. immigration law that expressly forbids birth tourism. Arguments could be made that the parents are committing visa fraud by claiming to enter as “tourists.” Still, even if the immigration enforcement authorities push this point, a finding that the parents’ committed visa fraud won’t negate the children’s status as citizens. (It will, however, make the parents inadmissible and unable to receive any U.S. visa or green card in the future.)