I’m going to write on a topic that is as far from Destination Weddings as I think it can get. But I’ve found it to be an important topic because I can see how this could become a very serious issue (more than what it already is) with mothers to be. I think it’s important that we always remain knowledgeable on various topics and because I have readers from all walks of life…well here it is. This writing was inspired after reading an article tonight.
When we hear “deportation” we often quickly think of an illegal Mexican sneaking over into the US who has been caught or has been living here and is being sent back home. What if I told you there is another very alarming type of deportation that is taking place in the United States. It’s so alarming that it has even been given a name because while it too is unlawful many are doing it anyway. It’s called “Birth Tourism” and many pregnant East Asian women are getting involved daily.
Birth Tourism is when a woman from another country, primarily East Asia, comes into the United States on a tourist visa (six month visa) and then gives birth. I’m sure many of you are wondering why they would do this and how are they doing it if it is illegal? Well it’s simple. When these mothers apply for their visas they are asked if they are pregnant. Of course they say that they are not because if their response is yes then the visa is denied. Why? Because neither government wants for the women to give birth abroad. The United States of America has a law where any child born on its soil is automatically a US citizen regardless of the citizenship the mother holds. This is why so many of these women lie to obtain the visa and untimely give birth to an “American” baby.
I recall the first time I heard of this, sitting in Ms. Shouping’s travel class (one of the many I have with her). I couldn’t believe that I had never heard of it before. Then I recently stumbled across this article one night when I was trying to decide what I would write about next. Ms. Shouping told us that this was actually very common and not just for Asian women. There are other foreign women who deny their pregnancy in hopes of obtaining their visa and give birth in the US. She did mention that the number is higher with the Asian population however. When I questioned how no one could look at these women who are five to nine months pregnant and not know. Her response was, “easy Ari, many will wear several layers of clothing in efforts to hide their big belly. Some are caught and others are not. This is how they sneak by.” I sat in awe and wondered even more about their process. Being familiar with the reasons that Mexicans immigrate to the US illegally. I became fascinated with the reason that these Asian women so desperately wanted their children to be born in the US. Then it hit me, to one day apply for their parent’s citizenship. But then I thought wouldn’t that require them to be 18 years of age? So there I was left again without an answer. When I read this article I was given more insight. Or at least another point of view. The article stated that most birth tourists want US citizenship for their children so that the kids can hopefully attend an American school down the road. Because private schools are cheaper for US citizens and citizens are eligible for financial aid in college it tempts women even more to engage in Birth Tourism. I thought they did it to become citizens in the future but it turns out that they care more about sending their children to school than about settling the entire family in the United States.