WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R—Tenn.) introduced legislation to eliminate loopholes that foreign nationals exploit to become U.S. citizens.
“American citizenship should not be for sale,” said Senator Blackburn. “Foreign nationals should not be allowed to come to the United States with the sole purpose of giving birth to obtain U.S. citizenship.”
The Ban Birth Tourism Act will amend the Immigration and Nationality Act and ban birth tourism as a permissible basis for obtaining a temporary visitor visa. This legislation is in line with the U.S. Department of State’s rule change in January 2020 prohibiting the issuance of temporary visitor visas for birth tourists.
- Prohibit Exploitation of Tourist Visas: Birth tourism is a booming multi-million-dollar industry and agencies capitalize on the allure of U.S. citizenship and cater to the trip-planning needs of pregnant foreigners. These businesses commonly cater to wealthy Russian and Chinese nationals and charge foreign clients thousands of dollars for advice on how to lie to immigration officers. Over 20,000 birth tourists come to the U.S. annually, according to 2016 and 2017 estimates. In 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice charged 19 birth tourism operators and clients in California for immigration fraud, money laundering, and identity theft.