Trump Delivers On Passport Babies
As the United States Senate plunges headlong into the impeachment trial, this week, of President Donald J. Trump, the White House is readying new prophylactic measures to block birth tourism. The State Department plans to push new visa guidelines to prevent expectant mothers from entering the country to give birth on US soil in order to deliver a freshly stamped American “passport baby.”
Some critics point out that traveling to the US while pregnant is perfectly legal. Meanwhile, the 14th amendment of the US Constitution grants citizenship, with narrow exceptions, to babies born on the American side of the border. It is, however, illegal to lie on a visa application. Visa fraud — which includes misrepresenting the reasons for seeking a visa — can lead to fines or up to twenty five years behind bars.
Last summer, federal authorities arrested three people in Southern California accused of running a birth tourism ring for clients from China. The suspects were charged with "conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, international money laundering and identity theft.” Florida is a hot destination for pregnant Russian mothers to deliver designer American babies. The Center for Immigration Studies claims as many as 40,000 passport babies are born each year.
Trump has made birthright citizenship a hot campaign issue. Writing for The Hill newspaper, immigration law expert, Nolan Rappaport, points out that most countries base citizenship at birth on the nationality or resident status of the parents.
While the Senate debates his fate as America’s 45th president, Trump is keeping his eye on the big event in November.