Volume 32
Issue 3
Spring '18

Current Developments in Immigration Law: The Debate Surrounding “Birth Tourism”

Written By: Matthew D. Kugler

Abstract

There is a booming birth tourism industry in the United States. The “birth tourism industry” involves expecting parents traveling to the United States to give birth so that their children will receive U.S. citizenship (“birth tourists”). These parents pay tour operators and healthcare providers for assistance in getting visas, housing, and sometimes medical services.

Currently, it is not illegal to come to the United States with the intention of giving citizenship to a child. There are also no definite, specific statistics as to the number of people coming to the country with that intention. However, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) reported 7,955 births by non-residents in the year 2012, the last year this data was available, which may serve as a very rough indication of the number of individuals who come to give birth in the country.

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