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For Many Pregnant Chinese, A U.S. Passport For Baby Remains A Powerful Lure

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Editor’s Note – When other countries are taking advantage of your laws for personal gain, at the expense of your citizens, perhaps it’s time to change the law.

With very few other countries in the world granting citizenship to babies born in their country by non-resident mothers, and with all the challenges America faces, why do our representatives continue to ignore the growing problems brought on by our immigration laws?  The U.S. is one of the few remaining countries to grant citizenship to all children born on its soil. The United Kingdom, Ireland, India and Australia, among others, have since revised their birthright laws, no longer allowing every child born on their soil to get citizenship.

Acording to ABC News, the number of U.S. births to non-resident mothers rose 53 percent between 2000 and 2006.  The same report states that the trend now extends to countries in Eastern Europe, such as Turkey, where as many as 12,000 children were born in the United States to Turkish parents since 2003 by one estimate.

Critics say the practice exploits the true meaning of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, enacted after the Civil War to grant citizenship to descendants of slaves.  

Lino Graglia of the University of Texas law school wrote in the Jan. 11 Texas Review of Law & Politics that the authors of the 14th Amendment never would have imagined their words bestowing citizenship to illegal or visiting immigrants.  “It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one which makes unauthorized entry into this country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides perhaps the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry,” Graglia wrote of birthright citizenship.

And we wonder why the world looks upon us as they do…could it be because they are simply overcome by our complete ignorance?

 

For Many Pregnant Chinese, A U.S. Passport For Baby Remains A Powerful Lure

By Keith B. Richburg
The Washinton Post

SHANGHAI — What can $1,475 buy you in modern China? Not a Tiffany diamond or a mini-sedan, say Robert Zhou and Daisy Chao. But for that price, they guarantee you something more lasting, with unquestioned future benefits: a U.S. passport and citizenship for your new baby.

Zhou and Chao, a husband and wife from Taiwan who now live in Shanghai, run one of China’s oldest and most successful consultancies helping well-heeled expectant Chinese mothers travel to the United States to give birth.

The couple’s service, outlined in a PowerPoint presentation, includes connecting the expectant mothers with one of three Chinese-owned “baby care centers” in California. For the $1,475 basic fee, Zhou and Chao will arrange for a three-month stay in a center — two months before the birth and a month after. A room with cable TV and a wireless Internet connection, plus three meals, starts at $35 a day. The doctors and staff all speak Chinese. There are shopping and sightseeing trips.

The mothers must pay their own airfare and are responsible for getting a U.S. visa, although Zhou and Chao will help them fill out the application form.

There are no solid figures, but dozens of firms advertise “birth tourism” packages online, many of them based in Shanghai, and Zhao said the number has soared in the past five years. But he said that many are fly-by-night operations, unlike his high-quality service.

“We don’t encourage moms to break the law — just to take advantage of it,” Zhou said. “It’s like jaywalking. The policeman might fine you, but it doesn’t break the law.”

U.S. officials confirm that it is not a crime to travel to the United States to give birth so that the child can have U.S. citizenship. “You don’t deny someone because you know they’re going to the U.S. to have children,” said a U.S. Embassy spokesman in Beijing, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing embassy rules.

Read More – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/17/AR2010071701402.html?wpisrc=nl_headline

Additional Source – http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/birth-tourism-industry-markets-us-citizenship-abroad/story?id=10359956&page=1

Tom Tillison

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