Is the new law to prevent “birth tourism” really effective?

The Trump administration issued a new law to help prevent a future possibility of “anchor babies,” babies born into the U.S. by mothers who file for a visa so they can give birth to their babies on American grounds. This law, which took effect on Jan. 24, is giving foreign service officers (FSOs) the right to reject visas to women they believe are entering the U.S. solely to engage in “birth tourism.” This just adds to the growing list of immigrants unwelcome in our country. However, this law is not all that effective.


FSOs aren’t required to ask a woman if she’s pregnant, but they’ll be allowed to apply additional critical interrogations if they suspect a woman is pregnant during her visa interview. Even if a woman says she’s entering the country for medical treatment, she’ll need to prove she has enough money to pay for the treatments. Although this may greatly assist in keeping obvious expecting mothers out of our country, there are ways that women can easily still access a visa.


Although this law may assist with keeping pregnant women close to their due date out of the country, it’s not that effective. Some visas allow foreigners to visit the U.S. many times over the course of as many as 10 years, meaning they could get their visas, get pregnant years later and still be permitted to visit our country. What if a woman can prove she has funds to pay for “medical treatment” and still gives birth within the country? I think the Trump administration’s new law isn’t that effective as women can still logically find a way to avoid it. 

Photo: L. Pimental

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