Progressives Denounce Donald Trump’s Curbs Against ‘Birth Tourism’

Republican-led states, such as Utah, are pushing for legislation that seeks to protect pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s curbs against “birth tourism” are discriminatory and dangerous, say pro-migration progressives.

The rule “gives individual consular officials broad and unchecked authority to discriminate against visa applicants based on gender and age and will likely disproportionality affect women and girls of color,” says Phillip Wolgin, the managing director for immigration policy at the Democrats’ main think tank, the pro-migration Center for American Progress.

Wolgin and other critics did not directly defend the commonplace practice by wealthier foreigners who try to snatch U.S. citizenship for their children by birthing them in the United States. But they did suggest alternative ways to protect Americans’ concern about the loss of sovereignty and resources to birth migrants.

Instead, the progressives strongly denounced Trump’s plan to fix the problem. For example, Wolgin said:

The final rule also erects new barriers to those seeking to come to the United States for critical medical treatment, potentially keeping people from lifesaving treatment. This final rule is the opposite of a fair and humane immigration system.

“The Latest Trump Target: Millions of Women Seeking a Travel Visa to the U.S.,”  declared a post by America’s Voice, another pro-migration group. The post continued:

…this rule could apply to millions of women from around the world seeking to visit our country, but not men. The first barrier to entry starts with being a woman. The second: a consular officer’s subjective guess about a women’s reproductive cycle. Third: the fact of a woman’s pregnancy or her ability to become pregnant — which is not, in fact, a bar to visiting the U.S. under the law passed by Congress.

“These knuckleheads are defending birth tourism,” responded Mark Kirkorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Birth tourism has few public supporters and many critics. For example, Trump’s decision was supported by the overwhelming majority of readers’ comments in the New York Times article “Trump Moves to Block Visas for Pregnant Women on ‘Birth Tourism’” and the Washington Post article “Trump creates new hurdles for pregnant women seeking U.S. tourist visas.”

A January 23 report by the Center for Immigration Studies describes the large-scale abuse of the United States’ practice of treating all children in the United States as U.S. citizens:

CIS estimates that birth tourism results in 33,000 births to women on tourist visas annually. We estimate that hundreds of thousands more are born to mothers who are illegal aliens or present on temporary visas.

These births produce instant citizenship for the infant, which can lead, 21 years later, to the migration of the parents, with neither event being controlled by the numerical limits that manage most international migration.

Of advanced economies, Canada and the United States are the only countries that grant automatic citizenship to children born to non-citizens who are not legally resident aliens.

Chinese citizens do not require a visa to visit certain U.S. territories, such as the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. The birth tourism industry is rampant there, with more annual births to Chinese visitors than native residents.

The birth tourism problem, however, is smaller than the birthing of children by illegal migrants. In January, Breitbart reported:

Today, there are at least 4.5 million anchor babies in the U.S. under 18, exceeding the annual roughly four million American babies born every year and costing American taxpayers about $2.4 billion every year to subsidize hospital costs.

Each year, four million Americans are born, and the United States accepts roughly one million migrants.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) denounced Trump’s policy:

Multiple immigration lawyers railed against the apparently popular rule.

“With the stroke of a pen Trump has now given low level embassy bureaucrats effective control over women’s bodies,” said David Leopold, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He continued:

The Trump administration has effectively placed a travel ban on women of child-bearing age … has concocted a discriminatory rule … Clearly, any woman seeking to visit the U.S. will be placed in the humiliating position of having to convince a U.S. consular official that she’s not pregnant or going to get pregnant before she travels to the U.S. or while she’s visiting. This indefensible regulation will potentially impact millions of women who seek to travel to the U.S. for business or pleasure. Of course, like many other Trump immigration schemes, the impact of this regulation will be largely on women of color.

“Can’t say it clearly enough: The current US regime hates people who can be called ‘other,'” tweeted Elissa Taub, another immigration lawyer.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.