Chinese birth tourism business unaffected by Trump's campaign rhetoric

Updated 2016-11-30 10:03:28 Global Times

Dropping anchor

The birth of Chinese babies who have U.S. citizenship, known as anchor babies, has given rise to an entire "birth tourism" industry. An estimated 50,000 pregnant Chinese women traveled to the U.S. specifically to give birth there in 2015. During his campaign, U.S. president-elect Donald Trump criticized the phenomenon of foreigners giving birth in the U.S. to claim American citizenship. He vowed to deal with this issue. However, birth tourism firms said Trump's rhetoric hasn't affected their business and probably won't affect even after he takes the office in 2017.

The campaign rhetoric of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump has had almost no influence over the trend of Chinese citizens flying to the U.S. to give birth, an agent in China's birth tourism industry said on Sunday.

So far this year, about 50 pregnant Chinese women have come to the agent's care center in Los Angeles each month, said the agent, who only gave her surname Yang.

Yang works for AbcBabyVip, which helps pregnant Chinese women to deliver their babies - known as "anchor babies" - in the U.S.

"It's true that some clients have worried that Donald Trump will eliminate the anchor baby policy," Yang said. "But there is no need to worry because the priorities for the new U.S. president will be improving the domestic economy and employment. Therefore, he will not deal with Chinese delivering babies in the U.S. immediately after his inauguration."

Her views were echoed by a senior advisor, who also only gave her -surname Liu. Liu works at the -Shanghai office of America LV MEI International Inc, a birth tourism company based in Los Angeles, the U.S.

Liu told the Global Times on Sunday that many Chinese, especially from Beijing and Shanghai, still go to the U.S. to have their babies.

"One client from the mainland has entered our center in Irvine [in the greater Los Angeles area]," Liu said. "Two mainland clients will have their visa application interviews at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing this week."

Guaranteed citizenship

The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that anyone born on U.S. soil receives U.S. citizenship.

About one of every 12 newborn babies in the U.S. each year is an anchor baby, a U.S.-born child of an undocumented immigrant, Forbes reported in October, citing research of U.S. nonpartisan Pew Research Center. About 295,000 children were born to illegal aliens in 2013, according to the research.

President-elect Donald Trump, however, has said that he doesn't believe children born to illegal aliens in the U.S. are American citizens.

"I don't think they have American citizenship and if you speak to some very, very good lawyers - and I know some will disagree, but many of them agree with me - and you're going to find they do not have American citizenship," Trump told the U.S.-based Fox News in August 2015. "We have to start a process where we take back our country."

Between 2009 and 2013, the current U.S. administration has deported about 500,000 illegal aliens with children with U.S. citizenship, U.S. magazine The Atlantic reported in September 2015.

Californian authorities spot-checked dozens of maternity centers for Chinese mainland women in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino in March 2015, but couldn't strike at the business in China, U.S. newspaper USA Today reported in April 2015.

"I don't have much of an opinion on maternity centers and Chinese babies being born on the West Coast because it actually doesn't affect me that much," said Parker Brown, a 29-year-old American from New York.

"I don't think America would do well to create an open border. Too many people would flood here, and it will ruin what makes America -America," Brown told the Global Times on Monday from New York via Facebook.

Brown believed a country should decide where to draw the line between preserving a way of life and having compassion for foreigners who want to live in the U.S..

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