New State Department Rules Crack Down on ‘Birth Tourism’ Under National Security Guise

The Trump administration is trying to make it harder for pregnant women to enter the country as tourists since they might give birth while here.

by Liz Wolfe

Today, the State Department announced new rules which will make it harder for pregnant women to enter the U.S. on tourist visas as part of a Trump administration effort to reduce “birth tourism,” or foreign citizens coming into the country to give birth so their children can receive U.S. citizenship. The rules will go into effect tomorrow.

Consular officers have been instructed to deny B1 and B2 nonimmigrant visas—visas for tourism, business, or medical treatment—to pregnant women who they believe intend “to travel for this primary purpose” of “obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child.” Though these changes do not explicitly prohibit all pregnant women from receiving B1 and B2 visas, they do extend more discretion to consular officers to deny those applications if they suspect the applicant might be coming to give birth. The Wall Street Journal notes these decisions “are typically final, and foreign nationals looking to appeal their decisions in U.S. courts have seen little success.”

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