Trump administration to alter visa guidelines in a bid to curb 'birth tourism'

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jan 21, 2020, 12.31 PM(IST)

File photo: US President Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

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The new rule will aim at cracking down ''birth tourism'' and curbing the increment in birth tourists flocking to the country.

The US State department will change visa guidelines regarding ''birth tourism'', whereby foreign nationals give birth in the country to gain American citizenship.

The new rule will aim at cracking down ''birth tourism'' and curbing the increment in birth tourists flocking to the country.

The rule will be applied ''shortly''.

Also read: US State Department warns citizens over outbreak of pneumonia in China's Wuhan

This change is intended to address the national security and law enforcement risks associated with birth tourism, including criminal activity associated with the birth tourism industry.

According to an official of the State Department, ''foreigners take advantage of the protection of citizenship stated in the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution which provides birthright citizenship to babies born in the country''.

Donald Trump
Image credit: Reuters
 

The new regulation will change the requirements for visitor visas (B visas).

Also read: United Nations rebuffs Russia accusation that United States visa delays being ignored

It will give State Department officials the authority to decline the requests of foreigners for short-term tourism and business visas if they think that it is being utilized to attain automatic citizenship.

Interestingly, a Hong Kong airliner had asked a woman to take a pregnancy test to prove that she was not pregnant before she boarded the flight. The flight was bound to Saipan, a US Pacific island.

Also read: Hong Kong Express Airways apologises to woman for pregnancy test

The airline had stated that it did so to prevent the violation of US immigration laws. 

In July, a resolution was passed in the US House of Representatives to keep a check on those trying to capitalize on the birthright citizenship