November 30th, 2010 11:54 EST
Chinese Birth-Tourism Business Thrives
Opposition to anchor-baby vacations in Congress
Recent reports indicate that wealthy Chinese are the next group cashing in on what is known as "birth tourism" - a phenomenon under which wealthy foreigners book luxury vacations in the United States so their babies born here can gain U.S. citizenship as "birthright citizens" under a generous interpretation of the 14th Amendment.
Meanwhile, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has announced plans to introduce new legislation into Congress in 2011 to end the birth-citizenship phenomenon.
Chinese birth-tourism business thrives
On July 18, 2010, in an article titled "For many pregnant Chinese, a U.S. passport for a baby remains a powerful lure," Washington Post writer Keith B. Richburg ignited a firestorm.
Richburg reported on Robert Zhou and Daisy Chao, a husband and wife from Taiwan who now live in Shanghai and run a consultancy designed to help wealthy Chinese mothers travel to the United States to give birth.
"The couple`s service, outlined in a PowerPoint presentation, includes connecting the expectant mothers with one of three Chinese-owned `baby care centers` in California," Richburg wrote. "For the $14,750 basic fee, Zhou and Chao will arrange for a three-month stay in a center - two months before the birth and a month after. A room with cable TV and a wireless Internet connection, plus three meals, starts at $35 a day. The doctors and staff all speak Chinese. There are shopping and sightseeing trips."
Richburg noted that the Chinese mothers must pay their own airfare and arrange their own U.S. visas, although Zhou and Chao will help fill out the paperwork.
"At a time when china is prospering and the common perception of America here is of an empire in economic decline, the proliferation of U.S. baby services shows that for many Chinese, a U.S. passport remains a powerful lure," Richburg continued. "The United States is widely seen as more of a meritocracy than China, where getting into a good university or landing a high-paying job often depends on personal connections."
Richburg noted there are no reliable numbers on the numbers of mothers taking advantage of birth tourism packages, but dozens of firms in China advertise "birth tourism" packages online, many of them based in Shanghai.
Even the left-leaning National Public Radio picked up the story.
In an article titled "Born in the USA.? Some Chinese Plan It That Way," Rob Gifford reported on birth tourism in an article published on the NPR website last week.
Gifford quoted Zhou as saying the advantages to Chinese citizens of obtaining for their newborn babies U.S. citizenship include access to a free U.S. public education and reduced college costs that come with being an American citizen.
"For lots of Chinese people now, $15,000 is very affordable," Zhou told NPR. "And it`s still at least four times more expensive for a foreign student to study at an American university than it is for an American student. With a U.S. passport, there are no barriers for study or for work."
Zhou told NPR that his firm has helped as many as 600 mothers give birth in the U.S. in the past five years, and that some Chinese mothers take advantage of birth tourism in the U.S. to avoid China`s strict one-child law, which evidently does not apply if a child is born to Chinese outside China.
Lawmaker opposes `anchor babies`
WND has reported that Rep. King, expected to be the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration in the 112th Congress, plans to hold hearings on whether illegal immigrants can claim U.S. citizenship for their children born in the United States.
"We need to set up a committee schedule, listen to testimony and gather data to craft well-informed legislation," King said. "There`s been a lot of scholarship on this problem that needs to be entered into the public record and acted upon."
In a last-ditch effort, the current lame-duck Congress is expected to push for passage of the DREAM Act, a law that would create new paths to citizenships by opening up U.S. government tuition loans to illegal immigrants seeking to attend U.S. colleges and universities.
King estimated that there could be as many as 750,000 anchor babies born to illegal immigrant mothers each year, representing one of every six babies born in the United States.
14th Amendment misinterpreted
Birth tourism relies on the lax interpretation of the 14th Amendment that Hispanic immigrants entering the United States through Mexico have used to argue Hispanic children born in the United States to illegal immigrants are "birthright citizens."
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1868, and its purpose was to make sure citizenship rights went to the native-born African-Americans whose rights were being challenged because they were recently freed slaves.
Even more specifically, the 14th Amendment was aimed at preventing a state government from denying native-born African-Americans the rights they were entitled to receive as citizens of the United States.
Still, since hospitals issue birth certificates typically for every baby born in the hospital and because birth certificates are the key documentation needed to get other official documentation, including drivers licenses and passports, being born in the United States has been the backdoor for illegal immigrants to get their children rights as U.S. citizens.
Birth tourism hotel opens in Manhattan
Red Alert has previously reported that New York`s first "birth tourism" hotel has opened a new hospitality niche in midtown Manhattan.
The Marmara Manhattan, a high-rise suites hotel located in New York`s Upper East Side is offering a one-bedroom suite accommodation for $5,100, plus taxes, for a month, with airport transfer, baby cradle and a gift set for the mother, according to BreakingTravelNews.com.
Medical fees, at a cost of around $30,000, are arranged by the hotel separately.
"Since 2003, more than 12,000 Turkish children have been born in the U.S., giving them instant citizenship, under the 14th Amendment," wrote Dave Gibson in the Examiner.com. "They are part of a growing trend known as `birth tourism.`"
The idea is that a foreign national expecting a baby makes travel plans through a "birth tourism" agency internationally to travel to the United States at the right time to give birth.
Flourishing in countries like Turkey, companies in the birth tourism business are able to arrange trips to U.S. cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago at a price ranging from $25,000 to $40,000, all for a package that includes the flight, city tours, living accommodations for several months and hospital expenses.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jerome R. Corsi received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling books THE OBAMA NATION: LEFTIST POLITICS AND THE CULT OF PERSONALITY and the co-author of UNFIT FOR COMMAND: SWIFT BOAT VETERANS SPEAK OUT AGAINST JOHN KERRY. He is also the author of AMERICA FOR SALE, THE LATE GREAT U.S.A., and WHY ISRAEL CAN`T WAIT. Currently, Dr. Corsi is a Senior Managing Director in the Financial Services Group at Gilford Securities as well as a senior staff writer for WorldNetDaily.com.
ABOUT GILFORD SECURITIES: Gilford Securities, founded in 1979, is a full-service boutique investment firm headquartered in New York City providing an array of financial services to institutional and retail clients. From investment banking and equity research to retirement planning and wealth management services, our financial experts are prepared to accommodate the needs of investors. For more information about Gilford Securities please visit, Click Here: http://www.gilfordsecurities.com/financial-services-group.php
The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect Gilford Securities Incorporated`s views, opinions, positions or strategies. Gilford Securities Incorporated makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information expressed herein and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.
ABOUT RED ALERT: Jerome Corsi`s RED ALERT is your weekly, global financial strategies newsletter. Designed to be your guide to economic trends in the best of times and the worst of times, it is edited by New York Times best-selling author Jerome Corsi, Senior Managing Director of the Financial Services Group at Gilford Securities as well as a WND senior staff writer and columnist. For 25 years, Corsi worked with banks throughout the U.S. and the world developing financial services marketing companies to assist banks in establishing broker/dealers and insurance subsidiaries to provide financial planning products and services to their retail customers. Corsi developed three third-party financial services marketing firms that reached annual gross sales levels of $1 billion in annuities and equal volume in mutual funds. Corsi received his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in 1972.
By Dr. Jerome Corsi
(c) 2010 RedAlert.WND.com