On ‘birth tourism’


EDITED to include a link to the Korea Times article.

An interesting article out of the Korea Times (did I really just say that?) regarding ‘birth tourism’ – the practice of mothers entering the US with a fetus and leaving with an American citizen:

EDITED to include a link to the Korea Times article.

An interesting article out of the Korea Times (did I really just say that?) regarding ‘birth tourism’ – the practice of mothers entering the US with a fetus and leaving with an American citizen:

Every year, thousands of pregnant Korean women arrive in the U.S. with a big, round belly and leave with a flat stomach, carrying in their arms a newborn baby with American citizenship.

Labeled “birth tourists,” these moms consider the costly trips a privilege and money well spent. But for a growing number of Americans, they are ill-intended visits that take advantage of loopholes in the U.S. immigration system.

And now, with millions of foreign birth tourists coming from everywhere from Turkey to Taiwan with the same purpose, conservative lawmakers in the U.S. are pushing legislation that would stop automatically granting citizenship to every baby born on U.S. soil, as stated in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Pardon my naivete, but if this mother presumes that her child – a presumptive American citizen with the rights and privileges as yours truly – will get a quality education, decent health care at a reasonable price, and better treatment as an American citizen, she might need to get off that post-partum medication her high-end doctor put her on. There’s the other matter of whether the services received are equal to the taxes paid into the system, but I won’t go there.

Bear in mind that this is far from the first article published on the subject – this article dates back to 2002.

Republican Rep. Gary Miller has introduced a bill that would prevent children from becoming citizens at birth if they are born to illegal aliens, a move that many say challenges the fundamental tenet of the country’s constitution.

In fact, a recent poll by Rasmussen Reports showed that 58 percent of 1,000 likely U.S. voters said “no” to giving citizenships to children of illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, 33 percent still said a child born of a woman who enters the U.S. as an illegal alien and gives birth should automatically be a U.S. citizen.

This article seems to make no difference between an illegal alien (e.g. someone living in the US illegally) and a tourist who conveniently gives birth during their legitimate tourist visa. Sorry, but unless you’re an American citizen, or trying to become one, your child should not receive anything based on where they came out of your nether regions.

According to the National Center of Health Statistics, the number of U.S. births to non-resident mothers increased 53 percent between 2000 and 2006.

Miller’s bill is garnering support from select Republican lawmakers, but it drew immediate opposition from critics who say the move is threatening the nation’s basic principles.

“The bill is unconstitutional,” Democratic Rep. Joe Baca said in media interview. “If you were born in the United States, you’re an American.”

Other Democratic lawmakers and civic groups are ready to fight the case, while businesses are also voicing their opinions.

“We’re not doing anything illegal,” said a manager of one birth tourism package provider based in Los Angeles. “We’re a registered business breaking no laws so we shouldn’t be scrutinized.”

True – helping people exploit a loophole isn’t technically against the law – and it does show the cleverness of those trying to exploit it. That the financial burden is so high prevents more from doing it, even though it’s arguably getting easier to do (e.g. pre-planned packages, etc.)

OK, so you spend the tens of thousands of dollars and travel thousands of miles to give birth to your kid in the U.S. of A. They receive a birth certificate, social security number, and everything else they need to ensure the precious snowflake can go to an American school, eat the same Burger King and Hardee’s / Carl’s Jr. burgers as the rest of the kids, learn English like a native, etc. etc. etc. What then? They can avoid two years of military service, but they can’t enjoy the same freedoms as their family can. Should you teach them a language that’s really only useful in Dae Han Min Guk? Or leave them in the U.S., hoping they’ll get a full scholarship to Harvard, Stanford, or one of the other Ivy League schools?

Rule #1: If you’re not an American citizen, or you’re not on one of the roads to becoming one, your child is not an American citizen. If your home country doesn’t recognize your child as a citizen of their country, tough toodles.

Rule #2: Demanding ‘benefits’ because your child was pushed out your womb on a different piece of dirt than you’re from? Prove you’ve earned them, in the forms of tax statements, to be verified by the IRS.

Rule #3: Require American papers before issuing American birth certificates, social security numbers, etc. – or have a different sort of certificate indicating a non-citizen birth. Perhaps this is already done on some level, admittedly.

I recognize that the country was built by immigrants, and arguably was made great by the same. Immigrants, however, are people that come to a given country in search of a better life; they stay to actually create that better life instead of leaving once they got what they needed. If you’re not willing to put forth the effort to be an American citizen, don’t come to the country to mint a new one.

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