The Trump administration has not made a secret of its vehemently anti-immigrant stance. On multiple occasions, the President has indulged in often nonsensical rhetoric to deride the so-called ‘foreigners’.
In the latest addition the list of legislations targeting Non-Americans, the Trump administration has sought to clamp down on what it calls “birth tourism”.
The term has been defined as the practice of women travelling to the United States with the purpose of giving birth so that their children can get the citizenship of the United States of America.
WHAT WILL THIS NEW POLICY LEGISLATE?
The regulations seek to counter the foreigners who look at giving birth in the US as a way of gaining citizenship. Currently, a child born in the USA automatically gains American citizenship.
This is something that had been a major political plank for Donald Trump. He saw this as an easy way out for foreigners to settle in the USA. Under the new rules, pregnant applicants will be denied a tourist visa. However, this will happen only if they can’t prove that they are coming to the US for a legitimate reason. That is, to give birth for medical reasons and they have money to pay for it. Their reason for coming can’t simply be that they want their child to have an American passport.
Well, the identification of pregnant women and the way they’ll be categorized is very vague to see the least. It has been left to the officials. Apparently, they won’t be asking every woman of childbearing age whether she is pregnant. Rather, they would ask the question if they have sufficient reason to believe that the applicant is pregnant and plans on giving birth in the United States of America.
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However, the rule will not apply to applicants from 39 mainly European and Asian countries enrolled in the Visa Waiver program.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF BIRTH TOURISM IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?
Birth tourism has now become a business. Companies offer foreign women the chance to come to the US on a steep fee to give birth. The Trump administration defines it differently. What they imagine is a poor Mexican woman who comes from across the border and gives birth in the USA to gain an American passport for her child.
However, the chance of curbing down on the practice is not as easy as it sounds. It is a full-fledged industry wherein companies charge as high as $80000 to entice women to come to the country.
Although the practice looks exploitative on hindsight, it becomes an escape route for many women to escape oppressive conditions. While a certain degree of regulation was required, outright banning of the practice does not seem to be the solution.