U.S. imposes visa rules for pregnant women

Cheryl Sanders
January 24, 2020

Consular officers are barred from asking a women outright during a visa interview if she is pregnant, or plans on becoming pregnant.

The Trump administration has cast the rule as a matter of national security and public safety.

The Trump administration began turning pregnant women away ahead of the White House's announcement on the new rules. So this new rule will affect visitors from places like Africa, Latin America, China, and Russian Federation. Neither would the hundreds of thousands of births to illegal immigrant women.

The practice of obtaining a visa to the U.S. on the basis of having other United States relatives is known as "chain migration", a policy that has also been criticised by Mr Trump.

People traveling to the United States for "pleasure", or as tourists, should be planning to engage in "legitimate activities of a recreational character, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a fraternal, social, or services nature", the department stated. A solution is elusive. She said her business gets about 60 queries a month and had 45 clients a year ago, because Trump has been unable to end birthright citizenship.

The White House and the State Department declined to provide examples of security threats linked to birth tourism, data about birth tourism or information about its financial impact.

The US Department of State has unveiled new rules to deter pregnant women from travelling to the US to give birth. Numerous women travel from Russian Federation and China to give birth in the U.S.

Another 39,000 foreign women here on other visas, such as student or work visas, also give birth.

"Women will have to hide their pregnancies just to get a tourist visa to visit the U.S.", Talbot noted.

There are no figures on how many foreign women travel to the United States specifically to give birth.

According to the rule, which will become effective on Friday, the State Department does "not believe that visiting the USA for the primary objective of obtaining U.S. citizenship" for a child "is a legitimate activity". The consideration would only apply to the initial visa application process; many nationalities have access to 10-year, multi-entry tourist visas.

Under the new rules, pregnant applicants will be denied a tourist visa unless they can prove they must come to the U.S.to give birth for medical reasons and they have money to pay for it or have another compelling reason - not just because they want their child to have an American passport.

But the official declined to rule out the possibility that consular officers will ask such questions based on a woman's physical appearance, saying that officers will consider the "totality" of factors.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the legal team of the United States president, Donald Trump, released its first formal response to the impeachment charges levelled against their client, calling it a "dangerous attack" on democracy.

A CBP spokesman said the State Department rule will not change the way CBP operates.

The measures take effect Friday.

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