The State Department released a rule today that will make it harder for pregnant foreigners to travel to the U.S. in what the Trump administration says is a long-awaited effort to reduce “birth tourism.”
The final rule, which will go into effect tomorrow, clarifies that if consular officers, who are stationed in other countries, have "reason to believe" a traveler seeking a nonimmigrant tourist or business visa will give birth during their stay in the United States, the officers will presume they are doing so "for the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for the child." The visa applicant will then have to prove to the officer "a legitimate primary purpose" for their travel.
"This rule reflects a better policy, as birth tourism poses risks to national security," the State Department explains in the rule. "The birth tourism industry is also rife with criminal activity, including international criminal schemes, as reflected in federal prosecutions of individuals and entities involved in that industry."
The rule will also codify a requirement that those traveling to the U.S. for medical treatment must "establish their ability to pay all costs associated with such treatment" including travel and living costs. Foreigners who wish to give birth at U.S. medical facilities may also be denied entry unless they can establish the birth requires "specialized medical treatment," according to the rule.
Separately, DHS also announced today it is reopening the comment period on a proposal that would allow the U.S. for the first time in history to impose application fees on asylum-seekers and raise fees for certain worker visa applications.
For the full story, please visit Politico.
Updated: Thu, Feb 6th 2020 @ 11:15am EST