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US to impose visas restrictions for pregnant women

SeattlePI.com Wednesday, 22 January 2020
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is coming out with new visa restrictions aimed at restricting “birth tourism," in which women travel to the U.S. to give birth so their children can have a coveted U.S. passport.

The State Department planned to publicize the rules Thursday, according to two officials with knowledge of the plans who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The rules would make it more difficult for pregnant women to travel on tourist visas. In one draft of the regulations, they would have to clear an additional hurdle before obtaining the visas — convincing a consular officer that they have another legitimate reason to come to the U.S.

The Trump administration has been restricting all forms of immigration, but the president has been particularly plagued by the issue of birthright citizenship — anyone born in the U.S. is considered a citizen, under the Constitution. He has railed against the practice and threatened to end it, but scholars and members of his administration have said it's not so easy to do.

Regulating tourist visas for pregnant women is one way to get at the issue, but it raises questions about how officers would determine whether a woman is pregnant to begin with, and whether a woman could get turned away by border officers who suspect she may be just by looking at her.

Consular officers right now aren't told to ask during visa interviews whether a woman is pregnant or intends to become so. But they would have to determine whether a visa applicant would be coming to the U.S. primarily to give birth.

Birth tourism is a lucrative business in both the U.S. and abroad. American companies take out advertisements and charge up to $80,000 to facilitate the practice, offering hotel rooms and medical care. Many of the women travel from Russia and China to give...
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News video: The Trump Administration May Add New Rule For Traveling Pregnant Women

The Trump Administration May Add New Rule For Traveling Pregnant Women 00:32

The Trump administration unveils new rule placing visa restrictions on pregnant travelers. According to Business Insider, the rule may be instilled to prevent them from giving birth in the U.S. They want to stop “birth tourism,” which is when foreigners have children in the U.S. to get documents...

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