Illegal immigration isn’t tolerated under President Trump.
On Tuesday, Homeland Security agents raided Southern California apartment complexes that were serving as “maternity hotels,” where Chinese women were being assisted to give birth to US citizen children.
One Irvine, California luxury apartment complex housed a number of pregnant women who allegedly paid between $40,000 and $80,000 to give birth in the US, NBC reports.
The women were not arrested, but treated as material witnesses. The operators are being questioned, but have not yet been charged. In total, 20 locations were targeted in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties.
“It’s not necessarily illegal to come here to have the baby, but if you lie about your reasons for coming here, that’s visa fraud,” said Homeland Security special agent Claude Arnold.
The operators of the birth tourism ring at the Carlyle counseled their clients on how to obtain a visa, how to conceal their pregnancy while traveling, and how to avoid suspicious immigration officers at the airport.
Once in California, the women were cared for and pampered in amenity-filled apartments costing as much as $3,000 a month. Handlers drove the mothers-to-be to doctors’ visits, restaurants, and baby supply stores.
When the moment of delivery arrived, the women were taken to various Orange County hospitals, where they were charged reduced rates for the indigent. The mothers paid hospitals as little as $4,000 or in some cases nothing for medical services worth $25,000.
The parents of a child born in 2014 paid $4,000 for the mother’s hospital stay despite having a quarter of a million dollars in the bank and spending money at Las Vegas hotels and stores.
Dong Li, who headed the Carlyle site, failed to file a US tax return. His associate, Chao Chen, didn’t declare hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds.
Chen and his wife also committed marriage fraud, pretending to divorce in order to get “green card” marriages in America.
The Irvine Police Department began investigating the Carlye scheme in 2014 after receiving an anonymous tip that was simultaneously given to US Customs and Immigration Services.
One agent went undercover as a client who wanted his cousin to give birth in the US. Investigators also examined hospital and bank records, followed suspects, and sorted through Li’s trash.
Chen was caught on tape discussing the taxes he owed on money collected in China.
The government is cracking down on foreign nationals who want to take advantage of our immigration system and public resources. With Donald Trump in office, America’s interests are finally being put first.
They are born here, they’re citizens. When they get older they can bring their entire families here. Our immigration laws need a major overhaul.
— ?GemMar333? 2018 MAGA (@GemMar333) January 11, 2018
No surprise it’s CA, illegal immigration capital of America. They make great money signing new citizens up for all of America’s benefits. CA government does nothing to stop the practice.
— Michael Merkt (@MichaelMerkt) January 11, 2018
How disgusting❗️No fricken wander we never have any money❗️We fricken throw it out to EVERYONE ELSE bit OUR OWN❗️
— ??MAGA?? (@izzie_adams2) January 10, 2018
One good reason for immigration reform.
— Joseph Kusack (@Disco42duck) January 11, 2018
No anchor babies
No chain migration
No immigration lottery
Illegal is illegal, no exceptions, no matter how much they dream
And yes, strict voter ID
— FriendlyJan ? (@FriendlyJMC) January 11, 2018
Go California, another nail in your coffin Jerry
— Judy Brewer (@Bre63068675Judy) January 11, 2018
This is probably the tip of the iceberg
— I’ll Pray4 u (@GwenPrays) January 11, 2018