Companies coaching pregnant women on how to enter the U.S. to give birth to American citizens by deceiving immigration authorities have come under scrutiny.
According to National Business Daily, a Shanghai newspaper, these companies provide “birth tourism” services. It has been estimated that tens of thousands of Chinese citizens fly to the U.S. to conceive.
Women looking to deliver their babies in the U.S. are coached to apply for a tourist visa. They’re also told to conceal their pregnancies when going through immigration and to not say that they’re traveling for medical treatment.
China Daily reported that 20 maternity hotels were raided by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
However, the raids have not damaged the business.
The total cost of the trip ranges between $20,000 and $80,000.
According to the State Department, no law forbids people from entering the U.S. and having a baby. The B-2 visa allows foreigners to seek medical treatment in the country.
U.S. law generally grants entry visa unless applicants cannot afford medical treatment or are unable to provide genuine explanation as to why they can’t seek the required treatment in their native countries.
The provision of sponsoring parents once the child turns 21 to become U.S. citizens and emigrate is the principal attraction behind this practice. Chen Lei, manager of LApangbaba.com, says, “They admire America’s clean air and food safety.
“(And) it’s a nation that respects human rights.”
LApangbaba.com has 60 clients based in Los Angeles.
Regarding the companies that are frightened of being raided, Chen said, “I relaxed them by saying those firms were targeted as they broke laws like claiming welfare to cut medical bills.
“Most of my clients are rich,” he added. “They don’t care about benefits.”
According to USA Today, Gary Chodorow, a U.S. immigration lawyer based in China, said that parents who travel to the U.S. to conceive are looking for better educational opportunities for their children and escape the one-child policy.
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