Citizens complain re: 'maternity mansion'

Friday, December 21, 2012
Chad Groening (

An immigration reform organization is outraged that pregnant foreign women can come to the United States on so-called "birth tourism visas" just so their babies will be U.S. citizens.

Earlier this month, residents of Chino Hills, California filed a complaint about a "maternity mansion" located in their neighborhood. It is one of dozens of facilities, also called "maternity hotels," in the Los Angeles area that exist solely for the highly profitable "birth tourism" business.

The Los Angeles Times reports that for a hefty fee ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, women from China and Taiwan are provided with food, lodging and pre-natal services.

Mehlman, Ira (Federation for American Immigration Reform)"We're not even talking about illegal aliens here; we're not talking about people who actually live in the United States," notes Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

"We are talking about foreign nationals who actually live elsewhere coming to the United States for the specific purpose of giving birth here in this country so that their kids can be U.S. citizens. This clearly is not what the framers of the 14th Amendment had in mind."

The 14th Amendment stipulates that the mother must be under the jurisdiction of the United States government in order for her baby to be a U.S. citizen.

"If you go back and you read the debates that took place at the time the 14th Amendment was being ratified, the people who wrote this amendment … defined being 'under the jurisdiction' as not owing any allegiance to a foreign sovereign," Mehlman explains. "And a woman who lives in a foreign country and comes here temporarily for the specific purpose of giving birth still owes her allegiance to that foreign sovereign."

Iowa Congressman Steve King (R) and others have tried to get the birthright loophole closed, but thus far they have been unsuccessful.

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details
California 2012: Year in Review

During 2012, battles over "gay" rights, education, and the state budget crisis dominated the headlines coming out of The Golden State.