MEXICO CITY.- Donald Trump will announce new restrictions on tourist visas for pregnant women, to prevent them from traveling to the United States in order to give birth and that their children have the right to US citizenship. With these rules it will be more difficult for a pregnant woman to obtain a tourist visa.
The State Department will release the new rules on Thursday, said two officials with knowledge of the plans. Both spoke under the condition of anonymity.
A draft rule imposes an additional difficulty in obtaining a visa: convincing the consular officer that there is another legitimate reason to travel to the United States.RELATED
The Trump administration has restricted immigration in all its forms, but there is one that greatly irritates the president: according to the Constitution, every person born in the United States is a citizen.
Trump has ranted against that practice and threatened to end it, but scholars and government officials say it is not easy.
Regulating tourist visas for pregnant women is a way of addressing the problem, but raises questions about how the official determines if the woman is pregnant or if a border agent can deny entry to a woman if she suspects by simply looking at her that she is pregnant .
At the moment, consular officials are not instructed to ask a woman who is applying for a visa if she is pregnant or intends to be, but they must determine whether a visa applicant travels to the United States primarily to give birth.
The so-called maternity tourism is a profitable business both in the United States and in the countries of origin of pregnant women.
US companies advertise and charge up to $ 80,000 for services that include hotel and medical care. Many Russian and Chinese women travel to give birth in the United States, a country that has repressed the practice since Trump took office.
Although some operators of maternity tourism agencies have been arrested for fraud in the management of a visa or tax evasion, traveling to the United States to give birth is legal.
Women generally state their intentions honestly when applying for a visa and even show contracts signed with doctors and hospitals.
There are no figures on how many foreigners travel to the United States to give birth. The Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates stricter laws, estimates that in 2012 some 36,000 foreigners gave birth in the United States and then left the country.
The intention of the rule is "to address the risks to national security and police associated with maternity tourism, including criminal activity associated with the maternity tourism industry," said a spokesman for the State Department.
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