Los Angeles moves to restrict Chinese birthing tourism

Calling southern California’s maternity hotels “underground money-making schemes,” a Los Angeles lawmaker wants them shut down in order to restrict the inflow of pregnant Chinese women seeking to give birth on American soil.

Via Reuters:

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe asked colleagues to approve a series of steps designed to ultimately close the hotels – typically single-family homes carved into bedrooms where visiting women pay to stay in anticipation of giving birth to a child who will be born a U.S. citizen.

“His intent here with this motion is not to regulate these maternity hotels, it’s to eliminate them,” Knabe’s spokeswoman, Cheryl Burnett, said following a Board of Supervisors meeting.

“These are really underground money-making schemes that attract women to the U.S. to have their babies,” she said.

It’s tough being Chinese. All you want is your children to have a better life, the dream of every parent, and at every turn, home and abroad, people are making it difficult, either infringing on your rights as a collective or insulting your individual dignity with pejoratives like “locusts.” What’s a person to do? And you? Accept your lot, or try the next country? Canada’s nice in springtime…

Los Angeles official seeks to shut hotels for maternity tourists (Reuters)

    7 Responses to “Los Angeles moves to restrict Chinese birthing tourism”

    1. Jay K.

      Actually know of a person headed to a certain western city in Canada to give birth to her kid. Her parent in laws are canadian citizens (emigrated legally 20+yrs ago) but her husband is never wanted citizenship or the permanent green card to Canada for reasons unknown.

      She will go there give birth, then come back to raise the kid. If I knew about this, and it was in my country, I would turn her in fast to the customs officials, but since I’m not Canadian I can’t do anything about it.

    2. Fred

      Don’t see why the US cares about it so much. They are getting taxes for life from those kids who will never use the US apart from a passport. The parents are mainly doing it because they are being misled to believe that a US citizen baby means:
      1) Free college in the US
      2) Instant green card for the parents

      They have no idea that #1 doesn’t exist and and #2 is impossible unless the kid is 21, living in the US and has the financial ability to sponsor them. In the meantime…. they are going to run into serious issues raising the kid in China, as non-citizen kid raising here is a giant pain in the ass.

      • Ick

        I’ve met more than a few people who have done this, they are generally extremely rich and well connected and as such have no particular problems as their children where already destined for private schooling and American Ivy League university regardless of nationality.

        As to the ‘middle class people’ who do this From what I’ve seen having a U.S. passport has so much cachet that the entire extended family chip in.

        • Fred

          Actually have a neighbor do this a few years back. Now it’s time to think about school though, and they are discovering their options are more limited. They saved up to do the birth trick, but had no damned idea about the consequences with none of the rewards they were hoping for.

          • Ick

            Will they send their child to a private Chinese school, a true international school or an american boarding school?

            AFAK The former’s fees are in the reagion of 4000 a month but true interational school is hellish here, about 12-40000 a month and genuinely out of the reach of anyone but the 1%

            Back when I was doing a chinese course one of my classmates was a Canadian Han who worked as a social worker in New York. Her assignment was to help the 6 year old chinese kids entering primary school there. These kids though generally born to green carded NYC Chinese parents, where often raised on the mainland by their grandparents till school age. Thusly they where at little more than ‘Fine thank you English’ and frequently didn’t even recognise their parents as such. They had real trouble both at home and school.

            Back in the UK I had several African (mostly Ghanian) and Indian friends who had duel passports but where raised in their ‘home countries’ then aged 11 ish came to the UK as British subjects. They tended to fit in extremely well having superlative English and great familiarity with British history ect (though they often acted like colonial caractures of Englishmen).

            I do wonder however about the chinese in this regard, as the cultural gulf is much wider here, not least because the mainland is such an ethnocentric place. It must be very odd to be raised as a Chinaman in a completely homogenic environment but to be notionaly a forgiener. Does one disgard ones nationality as a technicality or actively embrace it?

    3. Mano

      If China really was a great as they all say then why do so many of the Chinese always want to run to our side of the lake?


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