Born In The U.S.A.? Some Chinese Plan It That Way

NPR has a report on wealthy Chinese women who pay a fee to service providers who can arrange for them to give birth on U.S. soil under a U.S. Constitutional Amendment which gives the right to citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. Listen to the report here:

Originally ratified in 1868 to guarantee citizenship rights to freed black slaves, the amendment has been controversial more recently in the American public political debate because of poor, illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America coming to the U.S. and giving birth. An estimated 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in the United States in 2008 were the children of undocumented immigrants, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center.

There is another group of people arriving in the United States to have children. But this group comes legally, often in first-class airline seats: mainland China’s upper class.

A whole host of middlemen have sprung up in China to facilitate the booming trade, foremost of whom is Robert Zhou, a Taiwanese businessman.

For roughly $15,000, his company can arrange the hospital in Los Angeles, the doctor, the house and car rental, and any number of other extras for wealthy Chinese parents-to-be.

For lots of Chinese people now, $15,000 is very affordable. 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.

“What I’m trying to do is to help Chinese mothers to realize their American dream, at a fair and reasonable price. We’re not encouraging pregnant women to go and get a U.S. visa. We say that if you already have a U.S. visa, and you’re pregnant, you can take the opportunity to give birth in the U.S. So yes, it is a gray area in U.S. law,” Zhou says.

See a previous article from the Washington Post on this topic, via CDT.

November 22, 2010 11:24 PM
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