Increasing numbers of pregnant women are coming to the United States to give birth to their children as part of a growing immigration trend affecting California in particular, according to the Sacramento Bee
The practice, known as “birth tourism,” involves mothers entering the United States on tourist visas to give birth, securing American citizenship for their baby, and then returning to their home country until the child is old enough to return to the U.S. for better educational and job opportunities.
Once the child turns 21, a petition can be filed to obtain legal U.S. residency for the parents.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics
the mothers of 7,719 children born in the United States in 2010 reported that they lived overseas, an increase of almost 55 percent since 2000.
The practice is especially common in California, where there are now more than 40 maternity operations hosting around 1,000 foreign women in the Los Angeles area alone, according to the Bee.
The United States and Canada are the only remaining developed countries that grant birthright citizenship.
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