Friday, May 22, 2015

Proposed Bill: Inadmissible Due to Pregnancy

We have blogged before about what some have called maternity tourism - the issue of non-citizen women entering the United States and giving birth in the United States.  Another article about this issue was featured in the Huffington Post two weeks ago (see here).

Apparently to address this issue, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Ca) introduced H.R. 2.484, which would make inadmissible "certain aliens who are pregnant are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States."

Kevin Penton of Law360 reports that Rep. Rohrabacher explained that "the amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act would help stop women from traveling to the United States for the primary purpose of having their children become U.S. citizens by right of birth."  He further explained, “While different proposals have been introduced to solve this problem, my approach does not require a change to the Constitution or risk the possibility of the Supreme Court declaring it unconstitutional[.]”  


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It seems that rules like this existed in New Zeland at least for a while (2009-2012): officially, a pregnant applicants for a NZ non-immigrant visa would be considered "not [to] be of an acceptable standard of health", and thus not eligible for the visa:

The rules apparently have been relaxed in 2012: pregnancy per see is now longer an obstacle to obtaining the visa, but the applicant has to show being able to pay for the costs of maternity health services (NZ$9,000) :

(Citizenship by birth is not issue for NZ, since ius soli was abolished in that country in 2006).

Posted by: Vladimir Menkov | May 22, 2015 6:51:38 PM

Meanwhile, foreign men remain free to come here and impregnate as many women as they like, obtaining exactly the same benefit supposedly attributable to giving birth to a US citizen: i.e., in 21 years, should the child wish, s/he could petition for the parent's lawful status (if the parent then meets all other qualifications and the law hasn't changed) or, if placed in proceedings, the parent could try to meet the high standard for cancellation of removal. Commenters on this bill in other forums also fail to note that no one born in the USA now can trigger the potential Deferred Action for parents of certain US citizens that Obama has been trying to implement, since that window closed in November 2014.

Posted by: vmerton | May 24, 2015 8:31:17 AM

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