Trump Administration Seeks To Restrict Pregnant People From Entering U.S.

by Cassandra Stone
Anna Bortnikova/Getty

In addition to all forms of immigrant restriction, Trump is now focusing on reducing ‘birthright citizenship’

In its latest crackdown on immigration, the Trump Administration is coming out with new restrictions on visas in order to restrict “birth tourism.” Which, according to Trump, is when pregnant people travel to the U.S. to give birth in order to have their children become U.S. citizens and therefore obtain a U.S. passport.

These rules will make it more difficult for those who are pregnant to travel to the U.S. on a tourist visa. One draft of the proposed regulations states that the pregnant person would have to clear an additional hurdle before obtaining said visa — they have to convince a consular officer that they have another legitimate reason to come to the U.S. other than giving birth.

The new restrictions create barriers for pregnant people applying for B visas, which are offered to short-term visitors including, but not limited to, tourists, people traveling on business, and people seeking urgent medical care. An anonymous state official who spoke to Vox says that pregnant people from other countries often travel to the U.S. for better quality medical care than they may find in their home country.

“People will die because of this,” the official tells Vox.

“The fact that an applicant has an arranged birth plan with a doctor or medical facility in the United States or simply expresses a preference to give birth in the United States over other locations is not sufficient to rebut the presumption that their primary purpose of travel is obtaining U.S. citizenship for the child,” the draft of the new regulations states. “One key factor you should consider is whether the applicant has access to reasonable medical care in or near the country where the applicant resides.”

Currently, the government doesn’t keep track of how many pregnant travelers come to the U.S. on B visas, but 2017 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the new rules would likely affect about 10,000 people annually.

While “birth tourism” is, in fact, a thing, these new rules don’t outline exactly how border officers are going to be able to determine whether a person is pregnant to begin with, let alone whether they should or should not be turned away after presenting their reasons for entering the U.S.

According to NBC News, birth tourism is a lucrative business in the United States and abroad. Typically, 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 birth in the U.S. The U.S. has been cracking down on the practice since before Trump took office.

Birthright citizenship is the constitutional guarantee that all children born in America enjoy, regardless of their parents’ country of origin. Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller has been making it a goal to undermine this constitutional right since he came into office.