Trump To Take On Birth Tourism

Immigration abuse isn't a single problem. It's really a series of problems, sometimes overlapping, but not necessarily.

It's not just, "These guys are crossing the border illegally", though that's obviously a big problem. Birth tourism is one of the more obscure and infuriating problems that comes about as a consequence of the terrible idea that anyone who is born in the United States (unless they're the children of a foreign diplomat) are automatically Americans. Or, birthright citizenship.

There's no serious basis that just being born in America, regardless of the legal status of your parents, should immediately convey citizenship. It's an aberration, internationally, where things just don't work this way. (Much like voting without any ID.)

And the industry of birth tourism has sprung up around the birthright citizenship loophole with, often, Chinese nationals coming to the United States to give birth, and coming away with instant citizenship for their son or daughter.

The people doing this are often financially better off than illegal migrants, making the Dem messaging against a birth tourism crackdown somewhat more challenging.

So taking this on is a good thing.

The Trump administration has a new target on the immigration front — pregnant women visiting from other countries — with plans as early as this week to roll out a new rule cracking down on "birth tourism," three administration officials told Axios.

"This change is intended to address the national security and law enforcement risks associated with birth tourism, including criminal activity associated with the birth tourism industry," a State Department official told Axios.

The regulation is also part of the administration's broader efforts to intensify the vetting process for visas, according to another senior administration official.

t's unclear yet how the rule would be enforced — whether officials would be directed to consider pregnancy or the country of the woman's citizenship in determining whether to grant a visa.

Consular officers who issue passports and visas "are remarkably skilled at sussing out true versus false claims," the senior official said.

If they did, 9/11 wouldn't have happened. 

"The underlying practical issue is that very few people who give birth in the U.S. got a visa for that specific purpose. Most people already have visas and come in later," according to Jeffrey Gorsky, former chief legal adviser in the State Department visa office.

The practical solution is to do what we already do with people entering the United States for marriage purposes.

An acquaintance was going to marry a woman from Canada. She was barred from entering the United States. Obviously this was stupid and abusive. And there are good odds that if her country of origin had been Pakistan or El Salvador, this would not have happened.

But there is an infrastructure to cast suspicion on anyone who might be entering the United States to stay. It just needs to be extended to anyone who might be coming here to give birth.