A development to the U.S. visa policy instituted by President Trump occurred this past week on January 24thofficials now have the authority to deny a woman a tourist visa if they think that the woman is pregnant and coming to the U.S. in order to give birth (CNN). In analyzing this rule, it is pertinent to note the 14th amendment which states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States,” and it is relevant because even if a child’s parents are not citizens of the U.S., if they are born on U.S. soil, they can claim citizenship (NPR). The State Department defended the rule by stating “birth tourism poses risks to national security” and women wanting to secure citizenship for their children should not be allowed into the country (NPR). This rule however does not apply to 39 countries, the majority of which are in Europe, that are a part of the Visa Waiver Program and exempt from the need for citizens to obtain tourist visas to travel to the U.S. The State Department has admitted that they do not have official counts on exactly how many children are born in the U.S. from mothers who have tourist visas or any official counts on costs to U.S. taxpayers of this occurrence of “birth tourism” (CNN). So, it is currently unclear if “birth tourism” largely plays a role in immigration numbers and immigration effects. In viewing how it will be determined if a woman is wanting to use a tourism visa for birth, Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, stated the officials in charge of tourist visas will be put in a “very awkward position of having to decide whether or not they believe someone is imminently going to give birth” (CNN). And, furthermore, Vice President of Immigration Policy at the Center for American progress commented that these officials may begin “to discriminate on the basis of gender and age by denying a visa based on the possibility that a person might give birth in the United States” (CNN). This effort led by Trump is directly in line with his interests of reshaping immigration policy to be unwelcoming and bias. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.