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Birth Tourism Targeted by US Immigration Authorities

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing so-called birth tourism to the United States and some recent information that came to my attention regarding the current administration's newly evolving policy on the discouragement of birth tourism, for lack of a better term.

In a recent article I found on the web site of the, their article is titled: President Trump Implements New Rule Restricting Tourist Visas for Pregnant Women! Quoting directly: "The President is imposing new visa rules aimed at restricting "birth tourism". According to this Administration, the regulation which took effect on Friday,24th of January 2020 addressed one of President Donald Trump's main political priorities." Quoting further: "Consular Officers will not be asking female applicants of childbearing age whether they are pregnant or intend on getting pregnant. However officers may inquire where the officer has reason to believe that the applicant is pregnant and likely or planning to give birth in the United States."  Quoting further:  "The State Department does not believe that visiting the United States for the primary purpose of obtaining US citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States, an activity commonly referred to as "birth tourism" is a legitimate activity for pleasure or of a recreational nature. According to the new rules which were published on Thursday the 23rd of January in the Federal register."

There is more to this. I urge those who are watching this video go to the Elizee Law firm website, check that out. Again, the article is titled: President Trump Implements New Rule Restricting Tourist Visas for Pregnant Women! 

So clearly this is a major issue. The Administration does not take this issue  lightly.  I have done a video on this previously. It involved a person here in Thailand who had traveled to the United States and given birth therein. We were talking about it at the time, birthright citizenship. Birthright citizenship is something I can get rather passionate about insofar as it is something that is just sort of inherent to in my opinion to the American tradition if you will; the fabric of Americana. It's something I would prefer not really change in the American legal system this notion of birthright citizenship. That being said, I don't know where exactly I stand with respect to this birth tourism issue.  The analysis under Section 214 B of the Immigration and Nationality Act with respect to non-immigrant visas, so like a tourist visa application, basically requires a Consular Officer in their mind be satisfied that the applicant has strong ties to their home country and weak ties to the United States. It creates kind of an interesting framework of analysis to analyze a possible person who could be born in the future who could be a tie to the applicant to the United States. How you parse that out to me is a really good question. Also the factual findings of Consular Officers abroad operate under was called the Doctrine of Consular Absolutism or Consular Non-reviewability  wherein their factual findings are not subject to appeal. So how this is going to play out remains to be seen. I don't think it is warranted to presume that they are going to be asking young women of childbearing age everything there is to know about their reproductive history or their plans for reproduction. I just don't think that is going to happen. I hope common sense prevails and this is utilized primarily in those situations where you know it is clearly apparent that someone is perhaps pregnant and this is going to be dealt with along those lines where it is pretty clear that someone may be trying to sort of game the system by getting in and having a child in the United States notwithstanding the fact that perhaps they should be doing that depending on their factual circumstances.  I am not going to get into all the hypotheticals here. I urge those who are interested to read this article.

I do think of this could have an impact especially on young women here in Southeast Asia for example Thailand where we are at here Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore where you have younger women possibly of childbearing years applying for nonimmigrant visas, tourist visas for example to the United States. To me it is just one more factor that just sort of piles on to the analysis under 214b and the fact-finding discernment that Consular Officers have. I think it is one more thing that may auger against for example the girlfriend or the boyfriend of an American citizen being able to get a tourist visa back to the United States. This new initiative maybe just one more thing it operates against the approval of such an application.