Some Indian women fear they may be targeted for no reason.
Trust the Trump administration to look at all the ways to put a bold curb on migration in America.
In its latest move, the administration announced Thursday that the State Department would no longer issue temporary visitor visas to foreign women traveling to the US to have a baby.
Even though, the B-1/B-2 visitor visa allows the temporary visitors to travel for tourism, business or attending to medical care, the White House said in a statement that “a birth tourism industry threatens to overburden valuable hospital resources.”
It may be no secret, that many Asians routinely give birth in the US in order to obtain birth citizenship for their child. But on whether the new rule would adversely affect Indians, opinion seems divided.
Most Indians in the US maintain that the practice of traveling to the US solely for the purpose of giving birth and then returning back to India is scarce among Indians.
There may be truth in this. For when it comes to Asian groups, the Chinese are reported have often explored this route for a guaranteed and fast-track citizenship for their kids.
In the recent past, a multi-million dollar birth tourism business was busted in Southern California, leading to arrest of Chinese couples who charged as much as $100,000 from wealthy Chinese eager to give birth in America.
However, with the new rule in, many Indians fear that they may be unnecessarily targeted.
Anita Sharma a homemaker in California says, “I am expecting my first child right now and while we have been living in the US for a year now, I do not want people to unnecessarily assume that pregnancy is part of our immigration plan.
“It is a natural process and the fact that it happened while we are here in the US should not give anyone fodder to talk about it. I fear that many women may be feeling like I am.”
An Indian national and professional who gave birth in the US a few years ago and is now back in India told the American Bazaar on condition of anonymity that the decision to choose America as the destination for giving birth was suggested by her extended family in the US.
“We went for it as we could afford it. but let me be clear while the birth was expensive and did guarantee a US citizenship for my baby, it hardly helps us as parents in any way,” she said.
“It is wrong to assume that people eye citizenships for themselves by giving birth in America, the truth is it does not open any immediate doors for parents of a US born child.”
Immigration attorneys also fear that the move may make immigration even tougher as young women travelers could face greater scrutiny.
“A lot of young Indian couples travel to the US to live and work, I hope that the new move would not unnecessarily put us all in another round of scrutiny,” says Sharma.
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