President Donald Trump opened a new front in his battle against immigration, barring the issuing of visas to pregnant women seeking to enter the United States for so-called “birth tourism.”
In announcing the move, which took effect yesterday, the White House said foreigners were using the visas “to secure automatic and permanent American citizenship for their children by giving birth on American soil.”
“The integrity of American citizenship must be protected,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement on Thursday.
Temporary B-1 and B-2 visitor visas would no longer be issued to “aliens seeking to enter the United States for ‘birth tourism,’” the White House said.
Calling the practice “a glaring immigration loophole,” it argued that the crackdown on “birth tourism” was for public safety and national security as well as to maintain the “integrity of our immigration system.”
The US Constitution guarantees automatic American citizenship to anyone born on US soil.
Under the new rule, a US consular officer “shall deny a non-immigrant visa to an alien who he or she has reason to believe intends to travel” to the United States for the purpose of giving birth in the country.