Officials are cracking down on inbound US birth tourism

Birth tourism is not illegal in the USA, but official bodies are now going after agents and facilitators.

In recent years birth tourism to the USA has become very popular. Pregnant women come from China, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Nigeria, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico go to the USA to give birth.

There is currently no law that prohibits foreign nationals from giving birth while in the USA. The illegality is if they commit immigration fraud by misrepresenting the purpose of their visits to gain entry or obtain an appropriate visa, and in reality, birth tourists usually lie to immigration officials about their reasons for travel.

One of the biggest advantages of having a US citizen child is that once that child reaches the age of 21, he or she could be a sponsor of Green Cards for the non-US parents.

According to papers filed in 2018 in Florida courts by the Department of Homeland Security, 40,000 children every year are born to women who are only in the US on a travel visa.

The Department of Homeland Security is not going after the women, some of whom are legal and some illegal. Instead it is targeting the agents, websites and maternity hotels. California, Florida and New York are popular destinations.

In 2018, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency officials raided 20 birth hotel locations in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Bernardino County looking for suspected birth tourism operations, in which Chinese nationals allegedly paid agents between $40,000 and $80,000 to advise them on obtaining visas, flying through the least suspicious airports and even disguising their pregnancies.

The agency is focusing on the birth tourism industry due to concerns about tax fraud, contractual breaches, immigration fraud (helping birth tourists get visas under false pretences), and zoning violations.

US Customs and Border Protection Agency CBP has been tightening security particularly for pregnant Chinese women who are trying to enter the country at airports, including Los Angeles International Airport.