The US Customs and Border Protection is conducting more strict checks on pregnant foreign woman entering the country.
According to the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, any person born in the US is an American citizen and is afforded all the rights granted by the Constitution. Therefore, an increasing number of foreign women, including Chinese, are interested in giving birth in the US. Having a baby with US citizenship is considered as the first step of future immigration by many Chinese women, so these babies are called “anchor babies”.
In fact, the largest foreign group giving birth in the US is Latin American and Mexican women. However, Chinese women have a confinement period after giving birth so “maternity mansions” run by Chinese-Americans have popped up in the US. These maternity mansions are accused of disturbing the lives of local residents, causing concerns among the local governments about the problem.
It is almost impossible to prohibit the birth of “anchor babies” from a legal perceptive because it’s not easy to make changes to the Constitution. But that doesn’t mean the US government cannot bring the situation under control.
Tourist visas issued by the US embassy are usually valid for 3-6 months, so the best time for a Chinese woman to apply for the visa is in the sixth month of her pregnancy. However, her pregnancy at that stage can be well noticed by a visa official, who could turn down her application on the pretext of his doubts about the woman’s motive of going to the US.
Even if a pregnant woman succeeds in obtaining the visa, there still exists the chance of being refused entry by the US Customs and Border Protection. Some recent reports reveal that quite a few pregnant foreign women were sent back to their home countries after having their visas and related documents checked at the US Customs. The US Customs and Border Protection has the power to decide whether a person can enter the US and how long he or she can stay in the country.
Going to the US and giving birth to a baby doesn’t violate any US laws. The real problem lies in concealing the pregnancy. When applying for a visa, almost no Chinese women would admit to the fact that she wants their baby to be born in the US. Concealing the real motive will be considered as lying by visa officials. Once a woman’s application is turned down by a visa official or she is sent back to her home country for this reason, it would become more difficult for her to enter the US in the future. Foreign women who want to give birth in the US should really think about this.