Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has introduced a measure that would end birthright citizenship as an amendment to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, a bipartisan bill currently under consideration in the Senate.
Vitter’s effort follows the recent federal raids of about 20 alleged birth-tourism locations in Southern California last week.
Birth tourism is a lucrative scheme that involves the transport of pregnant foreign women who want to have their children born in the U.S. so that those children are granted automatic U.S. citizenship and all the benefits that come with it.
“It’s astounding that we’re allowing foreign citizens to exploit the loopholes of our immigration system in this manner, and Congress has the obligation to stop it,” Vitter says.
“This practice comes down to a fundamental misunderstanding of the 14th Amendment, and we can stop the massive problem with some simple clarification,” he added.
The Louisiana Republican’s legislation would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to prevent children born to foreign parents in the U.S. from gaining automatic citizenship. The exceptions to this would be if one of the parents is a US. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, or an immigrant serving in the U.S. military.
According to Vitter’s office, the bill would stop the practice of birth tourism by ensuring that citizenship is only afforded to the children of U.S. citizens and lawful residents.
Vitter first introduced his Birthright Citizenship Act in 2011 and reintroduced it in January 2015.