Unlicensed maternity "hotels" in and around the Los Angeles area are fueling a boom in so-called "birth tourism" among Asian women, reports Voice of America
Illegal maternity clinics operating for pregnant women mainly from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea offer the benefit of a birth within the United States, where citizenship is then automatic under the Constitution. Expectant moms pay up to $20,000 for the privilege of a stay at the clinics often located in comfortable residential neighborhoods, but without adequate birthing facilities. LA officials have begun to crack down on the clinics following complaints by city residents, however, and with the blessing of some immigrant advocacy groups to boot.
"We feel very bad about this kind of operation, and we sure hope the government does something about it," said Wai-Min Liu of the Chinese American Association of Chino Hills, an eastern suburb of LA.
"Birth tourism is another indication that Uncle Sam is a stupid cupid," said
immigration researcher David North to ABC in January. "This is the sort of thing the government winks at, an open door situation."
Via Voice of America and ABC
. H/T Denizen_Kate