Feds Bust Heinous Birth Tourism Ring in Southern California

Federal agents enter an upscale apartment complex, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Irvine, Calif. Shortly after sunrise, federal agents swarmed the complex in the Orange County where authorities say a birth tourism business charged pregnant women $50,000 for lodging, food and transportation. The key draw for travelers is that the United States offers birthright citizenship. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials conducted raids on three residential buildings being used for an elaborate ‘birth tourism’ scheme in Southern California last week.

The buildings were being utilized by a birth tourism ring called You Win USA Vacation Resort. The entity charged pregnant foreign women around $50,000 in return for shepherding them through the US visa and immigration process, with the understanding that they would exploit America’s birthright citizenship laws to ensure their children would be US citizens.

Community members in the Irvine neighborhood described seeing groups of pregnant Chinese women arriving and living at the apartments where the birth tourism ring was keeping them.

Court documents related to the bust of You Win USA Vacation Resort describe the birth tourism ring as having enabled more than 400 women give birth in the geographic United States in the past two years- at one Orange County Hospital alone.

The ring coached foreign women in how to successfully deceive American immigration authorities and hide the fact that they are pregnant. Birth tourism in itself is not illegal, but lying to enter the country with the intent of procuring citizenship for unborn children is.

ICE official Claude Arnold told local media that Southern California has become a hotspot for this form of immigration fraud. “These people were told to lie, how to lie, so that their motives for coming to the U.S. wouldn’t be questioned.

It appears that no arrests were made or charges were filed following ICE’s raid on the birth tourism complex.

Such cynical exploitation of American citizenship law reduces American nationality to nothing more than a joke. America is one of the few nations in the world to maintain outdated birthright citizenship laws, in a globalized era in which numerous other major countries have abolished it.

President Trump has floated the premise of creating an executive order to essentially abolish birthright citizenship, a project that would likely result in a lengthy legal battle. He is yet to mount an effort to challenge America’s birthright citizenship laws that are easy to rig and abuse.