Birth Tourism: Are They Manipulating The System? - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Birth Tourism: Are They Manipulating The System?

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It's called  ‘' Birth Tourism''  one of  those clever new terms the media coins to talk about a trend. Here in Southern California, communities like  Arcadia, Monrovia,  Hacienda Heights , San Gabriel, Chino Hills and others too numerous to name, have seen an influx of ( largely ) Asian families, bringing pregnant women into this country on tourist visas, giving birth in so called ‘‘maternity hotels'', typically run by overseas companies, then taking their newborns home.

They pay thousands of dollars to tour companies that facilitate these trips and these births. If you follow current law, you know that these babies are now U.S. citizens, some use the term   "anchor babies''.  That leads to accusations, which are hard to refute that the system is being manipulated.  The babies are US citizens they have the right to return and go to school here for example, and perhaps bring their parents here via ‘‘green cards'' when the children become adults.  Some call it a scam, but at this point it's a legal scam.  

It's not illegal for pregnant women to come into this country, and if they happen to give birth while they're here ? Well... what do you know about that !  Which brings me to today and Arcadia, with a large Chinese population, and a ‘‘crackdown'' on Birth Tourism in that community that so far has resulted in at least 13 of these ‘‘maternity hotels' being closed some are actual hotels.. some are converted homes that are leased often without the owner ever knowing what goes on inside.  Arcadia succeeded in doing this largely using enforcement of zoning codes, which make it illegal to operate a business in a residential area. Police say they've gotten a lot of cooperation, which is nice, but it's certainly not even close to eliminating the problem, if you want to call it that.   

Here's one perspective on the issue

We're paying a lot of attention to this issue because it's important and because it's upsetting to people who ‘‘play by the rules'' to become citizens. In fact, a controversial proposal by the head of the Antelope Valley Hospital to actually market its maternity facilities to Chinese women who can afford to come here , as a way to increase revenue and the viability of the hospital, created such a firestorm it's not clear if that proposal will even move forward now. Politicians such as Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who represents that area, opposed it as unethical .   We're doing more on this controversy this week, so stay tuned. 

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