Earlier this week GOP presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, alluded to the industry of birth tourism when he defended his use of the term 'anchor babies'.
"What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed where there's organized efforts, and, frankly, it's more related to Asian people coming into our country having children," Bush responded.
Jeb Bush was talking about the trend in which foreign women travel to the United States specifically to give birth so their child will be a U.S. citizen. The Center for Immigration Studies released a study estimating that there are about 36,000 birth tourists per year.
"That's much smaller than the number born to illegals, but it's not nothing," said Mark Krikorian, CIS' executive director. "An illegal immigrant is seldom coming here just to give birth ... birth tourism is a more conscious, preplanned phenomenon."
You can read the CIS study here:
Future mothers can spend hundred of thousands of dollars to companies that help ensure they make it into the U.S. to have their baby and grants the child U.S. citizenship. The child is then eligible for U.S. healthcare, education, and civic benefits.
Recently the federal authorities have been cracking down on this practice. In April the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Central District of California arrested and charged 10 Chinese nationals with violating court orders in connection with a birth-tourism investigation.
Though the practice has been largely associated with the Chinese, birth tourists have also come from countries such as Korea, Turkey, Russia and Nigeria, Krikorian said.
Read more on this story at Politico.
Updated: Fri, Feb 19th 2016 @ 10:30am EST