A Suicidal Nanny, an Underground Industry and 3 Babies Stabbed

An attack at a Queens maternity center shined a light on “birth tourism,” private, unregulated nurseries that cater to both Chinese tourists and New Yorkers.


Comments: 209

  1. Finally an article from the Times that does not glorify the immigrant. This is just as illegal as sneaking in. Send them back without citizenship for their children and you will eliminate the issue.

  2. Except, you know, for the part about it NOT being illegal? That was mentioned in the article, if you had bothered to read it.

  3. Yet more evidence for the need to reform our immigration laws. Specifically to do away with "birthright citizenship". With the exception of Canada, the western democracies have come to their senses on this issue and realized it is an irresistible magnet for illegal immigration and "birth tourism".

  4. Ending birthright citizenship would end yours, your family and mine. That’s not something I’m willing to give up.

  5. Both Parties might agree on legislation that requires one parent to be a citizen. Or require one parent to have resided legally here for 10 months prior to the birth of the child. Forget the idea of “comprehensive” immigration reform; deal with one issue at a time. Odd that, with Republicans in control of Congress and the White House....this hasn’t been done. Guess anger and hatred are better for them than, real reform.

  6. Since the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, 73 countries have agreed to grant nationality to otherwise stateless persons who were born on their territory.

    Revoking Jus Soil will have many influences that are even harder to handle. Shortening the period of tourist visas and enforcing strict regulations on birth clinics will make it expensive to have anchor babies, and the invisible hand will do the job.

  7. People who think that China is "beating us at the game" should ask themselves how many Americans are lining up to have babies in China.

    People in the know - with something to lose - have overwhelmingly chosen *not* to commit to China. Instead, they've hedge their bets with the United States.

    Remember that. It says something about this place, even after all of the political acrimony we've experienced.

  8. @Chris one of my college professors (in 1984) said this: if you want to compete and be successful in this world, learn to speak Mandarin. She said China's strategy is world dominance and the only way to achieve that is to make sure their investments (think Africa for one) and their Chinese citizens populate around the world (paraphrasing.)

  9. @Chris China is colonizing the world. No, we're not beating a path to the Chinese door, but make no mistake, they are moving into this country and hundreds of others around the world. It doesn't say anything about this country, it just says that they are outsmarting us. Ask the 80 percent of Asians that go to Stuyvesant.

  10. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/02/style/postpartum-doula.html

    A tragedy. "Chinese, residents worried that the incident would stir up anti-immigrant attitudes toward their community."
    The above NYT article is wonderful and positive. This one seems to want to more heavily regulate a specific ethnicity who, after all, are competing so competently for educational assets and creating a thriving community in Flushing that contributes economically and culturally to NYC. Your coverage of all immigrant groups needs at least some nuance.

  11. @Danny I don't see an attempt to "regulate a specific ethnicity," but rather an investigation of a tragedy that puts it in a broader context. The regulations here involve businesses, child care, buildings, etc. Those regulations don't apply to one ethnic group but rather to all of us who live in this city. The article in no way diminishes the broader accomplishments of Chinese immigrants in New York City.

  12. Although neighbors of Mei Xin Care filed complaints that it was operating as a hotel, city buildings inspectors were denied access three times, which automatically closes the complaint.

    This is the oddest way of handling a complaint that I’ve ever heard. Access denied means the case is dropped? Isn’t the denial a red flag that should lead to increased scrutiny? Hello, city regulators?

  13. @Judith Nelson

    Fact that this is the most recommended post when the real story if you peel the onion is is this illegal birth tourism industry tells you how liberal readers would rather look the other way.

    Just because one New Yorker sbowed up doesn't take away the fact that majority use for this is "birth citizenship" by Chinese nationals.

    But, yes, let's talk about building/ hotel code.

  14. The issue here is not immigration, but the tax evasion by owners of these establishments.

  15. @observer. Nope. It's really about immigration.

  16. When a baby is born, bonding between mother and child is so important. To have had someone else care for my newborn child would have been absolutely inconceivable to me.

  17. @GretOK that's totally understandable that you preferred to care for your newborn. However, those first few weeks after you give birth can take a big toll on your body, and it's helpful to have other caregivers around, too. As a Chinese American, I am fortunate that my mother/aunts live nearby and were able to come over on an almost daily basis for those first few weeks to care for me and my newborn when I needed it. Unfortunately, it sounds like the vast majority of the women who go to these centers don't have their family around to help out. This article the NYT published a few years ago elaborates on this cultural practice much better: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/nyregion/bringing-an-asian-tradition-...

  18. Birthright citizenship has it's benefits and downside also.

    As an American living abroad, I am under the jurisdiction of the country I live in. I think that is fair. I have no doubt at all, were I to suddenly need America to come to my defense for any type of reason America would refuse. So having an American citizenship doesn't offer me anything while living abroad except the mandatory necessity to file and pay taxes every year. I also pay taxes where I live. Sometimes, most times, I am told, the taxes in the country where I live offset the taxes I would otherwise pay to the states. I recently found out that I have to file yearly. When I left the USA one did not have to file taxes if they made less than eight-thousand a year. It costs quite a bit of money to file taxes just to be told you don't owe taxes. When I lived and worked in the USA I did my own taxes. But I don't work here and the taxes are so complicated that I cannot hope to be competent. The starting price for filing taxes is over $475.00 an hour and it never takes just an hour.

    Personally, I think if Trump was serious about limiting immigrants he would be advertising more that any child born in the USA must file and pay taxes from the time they 18 years old regardless of what they are worth, what they make, or where they live. Publishing the current pay-to-play scale of the licensed tax filing services in each country would also act to defer birth tourism to the USA.

  19. @Susannah Allanic
    Good grief Susannah. Do you actually think those pregnant women are thinking about their child's tax situation 18 years hence?

  20. @Susannah Allanic You are correct that you are under the jurisdiction of the country you live in. However, you demonstrate a certain degree of privilege in your ability to believe the US would not come to your aid if you were to be mistreated/ come to danger in a foreign country. As a former refugee from a Communist county, I can tell you people put a great price on US citizenship partially because of its protection. There have been numerous circumstances when even one American has been kidnapped, sentenced, or abused abroad and the US Embassy and/or government has gotten involved. US Embassies abroad also provide aid to sick or otherwise in trouble travelers and will inform/ help evacuate US citizens in the event of major upheavals like war or natural disaster. This may not apply as much in a country like France but is especially important in undeveloped countries. As my parents say, one death to certain governments mean nothing at all: you are just 1 in a billion.

  21. We must put and end to birth tourism. Stop admitting pregnant women to the US and single women arriving from countries like China, shoulder undergo a pregnancy test. Police should be checking suspicious homes and shut them down. Denaturalize all babies born as a result of birth tourism

    We would solve so many problems if we would just end birthright citizenship.

  22. Forcing women to undergo a pregnancy test to enter a country? Are you serious?!?
    How about we just get rid of the 14th amendment. Problem solved.

  23. @ judyweller

    Single women should undergo a pregnancy test?

    I hope this is satire.

  24. “The police shut down Mei Xin Care after the stabbing, but less than three weeks later, the center seemed to have reopened. Women could be seen through the windows, and a pile of diapers sat outside.”

    I’m speechless.

  25. Why most of South America and North America still practice unrestricted jus soli is a mystery to the rest of the world. It is outdated, impractical and lends itself to abuse. A restricted jus soli would render this illegal and dangerous industry obsolete.

  26. @Ryan. It hardly matters for South America. Most people are trying to leave those countries not have kids that get automatic citizenship there. For us though, it is an entirely different story. Ex- most births in county hospitals in LA are now illegals who know if they can just get here and have the kid, the care will be free and the kid a citizen with all the benefits including the ability to bring relatives to the u.s. when they reach 18 years old thru chain migration. This is an outdated bad policy that needs to be reformed in any immigration over haul deal.

  27. It's a result of colonization. Jus soli is how colonists can justify their existence and property rights in newfound lands.
    Rejecting jus soli would undermine the tenuous foundation of property law in the US. @Ryan

  28. Yet another example of why Trump won. I didn't vote for Trump, but be sure that the abuse of our immigration system is a major, if not the major reason for his unreal victory. The left just doesn't get it. The left seems to think that anyone who can get to the US is entitled to stay--by hook or by crook. The Left wants ICE abolished--which means the Left will continue to lose. Many voters (including Democrats like me) are sick of seeing our immigration system gamed--with anchor babies, false asylum claims (like the limo service owner who conveniently isn't in the US and apparently snuck into the US and got asylum despite being wanted for murder in Pakistan), illegals who launder their status thru TPS etc. I'm sick of seeing our nation played. No more birthright citizenship for anybody who gets born here, unless at least one parent is a US citizen or permanent resident.

  29. @LB I totally agree with you. As a democrat, I am 100% against illegals' or tourists' babies getting automatic citizenship must be banned.
    Democrats are too lenient on this issue.

  30. “The left“ understands that despite some real problems with the immigration process, people who are inordinately focused on it are generally motivated by racism.

  31. @LB I agree with you as a mostly progressive, former refugee now US citizen. Most people presume that being an immigrant and a minority would make me favor things like "abolishing ICE" but in fact, I think we need sensible immigration laws that fit what this country can support and what it needs (workerwise, etc.) while still allowing for a degree of compassion. Certainly, my parents did not come to the US expecting automatically to be made legal immigrants or citizens. They worked for it.

    The funny thing is I recently attended a Democratic Socialist meeting and for once, I felt like the conservative in the group. While I appreciate the enthusiasm and youthfulness of DSA, in reality, no one at that small table had the background I and my family had firsthand with immigration issues. The meeting took place in my wealthy suburban neighborhood and one DSA member stated perhaps the view would be different in less wealthy areas with more immigrants (note my neighborhood probably has something on the order of 20% immigrants already). I told them perhaps but perhaps not given the money, time, and effort many immigrants put forth to gain legal residency and citizenship.

  32. The flawed "native-born citizen" definition that fuels such happenings is long overdue for change. A native-born citizen needs in the future, and by constitutional law, to be defined as a person one of whose parents was at the time of his/her birth a US citizen, or at the time of birth a legal US resident awaiting qualification to apply for citizenship. Since laws cannot be retroactive, it could apply only to those born after that became law.

  33. I remember a case where a Taiwanese woman went into labor on a flight to Canada and wanted to know if she crossed the international flight line to Canada because her intention for this trip was to have Canadian citizenship for her child. Because of the media coverage, the woman would have to face legal issues when she returned to her country. (I doubt poorer countries would care about this). It’s very strange that the US allows a way for foreigners to give birth here with that single intention. It seems wrong. I totally understand why they would want US citizenship for their child but if they can’t be raised here, it’s a free pass for these children while the other immigrants are waiting in line, it’s not fair. Some of these folks would find a loophole where they leave the baby with a legal US citizen relative, that should be only legal if the child has no biological parents.

  34. @Ceiko
    Hate to break it to you but this Taiwanese woman was on a flight to LA and was attempting to give birth in America. When she went into labour on board, the flight was diverted to Alaska where authorities granted her daughter American citizenship. So as much as we Canadians would enjoy claiming Alaska's resources for ourselves, we're quite content to do without the Sarah Palin's and Robert Hansen's of the world.

  35. @Ceiko Sorry Ceiko but this Taiwanese woman was on a flight to LA with the intention of giving birth in America. When she went into labour on board, her flight was diverted to Alaska where authorities granted her new daughter American citizenship. You can take it up with Sarah Palin, I'm sure she's got some opinions on it.

  36. Only in NY where the one percent really matter. don't mind the roads or the limo drivers or the gangs,that's just the rat race,and the trash and rats. These Chinese mothers are many undocumented ,the children are also the key to legal immigration when they turn 18 years of age ,they sponsor the whole family through chain migration. Don't think so ,look it up. So ,don't pay taxes while the US taxpayer picks up the bill,remember when you vote liberal ticket ,you're handing over your paycheck.

  37. @Alan Einstoss
    Yep bring in their parents and grandparents who can use our health care system once they come and they wont have to pay.

  38. Unless I am mistaken, Republicans control just about everything, but I have never heard a peep from them on this issue.

  39. How about a story focused on the heroic work of all the medical personnel involved in saving these tiny babies from such a horrific attack!

  40. Why is not the birthright 14th amendment rescinded? It is no longer useful except for foreigners who take advantage of it. Only if at least one parent is an American should a baby be considered or given US citizenship. Shut down the highly profitable, tax avoiding baby mills.

  41. @MS
    Because the left will scream and throw a fit about how unfair that would be to illegal immigrants giving birth in the US. That’s why.

  42. They authorities were denied entrance three tines so closed the complaint. What?! How ridiculous is that!

  43. The only issue I believe a agree with the Republicans in Washington is immigration.

    Do whatever you have to do, but stop making babies born to in this country automatic citizens.

  44. The burden of providing for the family fell on Mrs. Wang. A husband who came here on a work visa but doesn’t work. Two sons- not working? Yet she supports the family AND cares for three small grandchildren- after 12-hour shifts with the babies of others. Little wonder she went off the rails. And what about the meds she was taking that day?

    Keep her, get her some mental health help, deport the rest of her parasitic family, and alert Trump to the birth tourism centers , to say nothing of state wage/hour possible violations. The one woman in the story, that waited and came here legally, said there were no shortcuts. There are, sadly for all those other thousands, waiting to come legally. Surely there are some areas Dems and Repubs can agree on. Reform, one issue at a time, is better than none.

  45. “Alert Trump to birth tourism centers . . “. Oh, he knows all about it. Russians pay big money to use Trump’s luxurious Florida properties for birth tourism. All out in the open. Trump won’t kill this golden goose. As always, follow the money.

  46. Solving our immigration problems requires significant effort and compromise, but like many others who consider themselves pro-immigrant, I oppose this practice. These short-cuts undermine genuine efforts to provide legal residency and citizenship to the people who most need it. These children should have their US citizenship revoked since it was obtained fraudulently.

  47. Naturalized citizen of Chinese descent here.

    I wish both sides would recognize the great deal of nuance in the US's immigration situation.

    On the one hand, we have problems with low-skilled migrants crossing the border illegally in order to satisfy a shortage in manual labor. We are (1) not willing to punish the farms and businesses who employ these workers out of economic necessity, (2) not able to properly enforce the laws on the books without taking extreme and politically infeasible measures and (3) not capable of passing laws which allow for a path to citizenship for those already here.

    We also have an issue with bogus asylum claims and cases of birth tourism as documented in this article where people are just clearly gaming the system without repercussions. These loopholes need to get closed.

    On the other hand, whether you agree with the policy or not, we've always had a preference for allowing highly-educated immigrants to come settle here and strengthen the economy. By demonizing all immigrants, we're also dissuading future doctors, engineers and researchers from settling here. Speak to any graduate student or engineer on a work visa and you'll get an understanding of how backlogged the naturalization process has become. If we can't fill these STEM positions with immigration, we'll have to rely on the native-born population... and our national education system is just not up to snuff for that.

  48. @RJ

    I agree with you. There are many, many nuances in our multi-layered immigration policy. I'm an American who understands this on many levels.

    But, your statement "we've always had a preference for allowing highly-educated immigrants to come settle here and strengthen the economy" could stand a little nuance as well. I'm a second generation American engineer. My ancestors came here with nothing. They made this country what it is. Would we have preferred, in 1910, that everyone have a PhD from Cambridge University in England? Sure. But, those were the not the people we needed most. Not too many of them would have enjoyed paving the streets of New York.

    So, I take great offense at your offhand "we always." Learn a little history.

    Right now, I'd rather see my government spend a few bucks to invest in and educate our home-grown idiots. We'll still need folks like you, but maybe our population here would feel less resentful if they were busy in school learning something useful.

  49. Sorry, I have to disagree with you on distinguishing between immigrants who hep our economy and those who do not. The people that you call illegal immigrants who help harvest the crop, landscape out yards and clean the hotel rooms, etc for very low wages are at least as crucial to our economy than the “skilled” immigrants. In fact, the US has enough top notch academic institutions that produce software engineers, scientists and physicians. The difference is that we pay a lot of money for these educations and people feel entitled to competitive salaries. We do not need all these specialists that you describe to the same degree as we need people who help us with the work that most Americans do not want to do, such as working in fields that are treated with pesticides, slaughter chickens, you name it. In fact, Americans lose their jobs to immigrants who come here with work visas to work for lower salaries. Just look at IT departments and see who works there. But I agree citizenship and immigration need an overhaul but the wall is certainly not one of them.

  50. @RJ - going to have to disagree with you here. There are plenty of native born people to fill STEM positions . Companies are using that excuse to bring in immigrants via h1b visas and to get rid of US citizens so that the labor costs go down (see Disney circa 2016). As for foreign born graduate students in labs in state universities, well some of them are doing just fine taking the research they've been working here back home, and with government money, opening factories incorporating said research. That's not a myth. It's actually happening right now. The laws need to be changed in a number of ways. And it's not about illegal immigrants coming over to work on the farms in California.

  51. Citizenship for sale. It need to stop.

  52. @The HouseDog
    Or for free if you are an illegal immigrant and you give birth in the US - mostly at the cost of the US health system. This isn't different from anchor babies - same principle, just less wealth involved.

  53. @The HouseDog Absolutely. Rupert Murdoch is one who jumped to the front of the line because... Well, he is very wealthy and has political connections. How about the actions of another New York real estate family, the Kushners? How can anyone stop a process that has the tacit approval of the family running the country, especially when the Kushners (I am referring to their sales pitch for apartments to Chinese investors) are now related to them by marriage? And when the Republican Party has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trump Inc.?

  54. OMG this shows so many problems with loopholes in USA system. Coming to US to have babies as US citizens needs to be unlawful, banned and prohibited no matter color of child. For God's sake - get some sense people.

  55. It’s not a loophole. It’s the Constitution.

  56. It can still be considered a loophole—just a loophole in the Constitution. It had a purpose that is now being misused.

  57. Citizenship should be granted only based on parents status. All this baby dropping here with its dangers and unfairness would stop

  58. Our immigration laws absolutely need to be revised on many levels (a wall isn't one of them) to accurately take into account what is needed in this country and what is fair to those wanting to immigrate or to work. This sort of "immigration" is a travesty.

  59. The birthright clause of the 14th amendmemt was meant for Slaves and their descendants. Immigrants have been exploiting this law and other civil rights meant to make Descendants of Slaves whole. These imigrants groups have already displaced advancement of the Black Descendant of Slaves and are looking to displace Americans as a whole. This law must be changed to safeguard the rights of citizenship.

  60. This irresistible prize of American citizenship is too good to pass up for the people with some means. I propose limiting citizenship to families who already live in the U.S. (legally or illegally because we have seen what happens when a policy of family separation is implemented). This way at least there is a chance they will become contributing members of our society instead of only a U.S. passport holder. I do not believe limiting citizenship to the child of a US citizen or resident would ensure the child is raised in the U.S. In order to be an American worthy of the passport. I would hope means more than just the citizenship of your parents. It should encompass the values and culture that can only be learned by being immersed in our society.

  61. Make the centers pay competitive wages, abide by labor standards & licensing laws and PAY TAXES. If someone still wants to come from abroad to use them, then so be it. It will bring money into the US economy and support those good jobs after all.

    While I understand the custom of having family / auntie help for (at least!) a month after giving birth, an poorly staffed, improperly regulated "maternity center" seems to be the worst possible way of doing so. I fortunately lived with family when mine was born but I also had support from local moms as well as La Leche League. Some people have postpartum doulas.

    As a society, we really need to learn to maintain inter-generational relationships so that new parents do not feel isolated and unable to cope.

  62. Birthright citizenship needs to end. The US is one of less than a handful of countries that have it. Children should be given whatever status their parents have in the country.

    With respect to these centers, why aren't they held to the same standards as, say, senior nursing facilities?

  63. "Mei Bao" means American baby not beautiful baby. The Chinese character for beautiful and America is the same. Just FYI.

  64. And people on the left wonder why people on the right get upset about immigration cheaters. I'm not going to argue that a person from Mexico or Central America entering America illegally to escape gang violence should be equated with a wealthy Chinese person giving birth in the U.S. just to make sure their kid has U.S. citizenship. The stink of it is, the first is illegal, the second is not, but the second is obviously more unfair.

    It's not that people on the right want to send illegal immigrants back to their home countries to die. It's that we have a system of legal immigration for a reason. Anyone not from a country in this hemisphere has to go through years of applications and paperwork before they can become U.S. citizens. Many of them are also from countries that are dangerous. It's not fair to them to give Hispanic illegal immigrants a pass just because they were able to walk over the border. And it's not fair that wealthy people from other countries are able to take advantage of a loophole in our system to get citizenship for children who will likely never live here.

  65. @Ana I admire your sense of fairness on this topic. As a slightly left of centre person who’s getting older I find myself looking harder for common ground with conservatives. It can be done but I believe that toning down the rhetoric is essential. I think that you’ve articulated the difference between exploitation and survival. When politicians of all stripes learn to speak your language, progress can be made.
    Thank you.

  66. @Ana

    Jared Kushner's family promotes sales of US citizenship in China and other countries. For an investment of $500,000 they advertise an investment visa to migrate to USA. And this is totally legal. Search up Kushner family investment visa scheme.

  67. Wow too bad anyone decrying “anchor babies” in 2016 was called a racist. Maybe this tragedy could have been avoided.

  68. That’s not why we called them racists.

  69. Americans and our country are taken as suckers by all who take advantage of us. ALL of them, illegals and others too. We are way too kind and tired of being abused by foreigners.

  70. End birthright citizenship. Now.

    Even if Trump proposes it.

  71. @Concernicus
    IT gets dicey -- the Mexican mothers who give birth in S. California are in one category. The wealthy from fly-to nations who practice the same scam are undoubtedly "friends."

  72. I'm a radical progressive on almost all issues, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but yes, end birthright citizenship now. It no longer serves any purpose that's good for the country.

  73. I am an immigrant and proud if it. But we need to assess our immigration policies. it is not just about a border wall, birth tourism or working visa. This is a much bigger issue.

  74. "who wish to give birth in the United States in order to obtain instant citizenship for their children, which is legal under immigration law."

    somehow i would have thought that agent orange would have gotten rid of this bizarre law -
    do other countries have this?
    we are deporting law abiding, tax payers, people with families and yet this absurd law is in place?
    unreal

  75. @j
    He can't just get rid of it - it's the 14th Amendment ("All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States").

    So, whether or not one agrees with it, it will be hard to change.

  76. Democrats will do nothing to stop this travesty, gaming a law meant to benefit ex-slaves.
    Further more Democrats want open borders,see California..all illegal immigrants will soon have 'free' medical care too.
    Democrats have figured out legal immigrants tend to become Republicans who don't want leftist policies they fled in the first place.. Democrat strategy is to flood the country with people eager for the free stuff leftist promise.

  77. @Lane

    I don't think you are correct.

    I think if you really knew what our Governor has done, and the Courts in California have done in response to President Trump's immigration policies and enforcement, you would know that California's Democrats are not "open immigration" and anti-ICE.

    I am very left of center as a Democrat but I wholly support ICE, not as a immigrant enforcer, but as the national enforcer of laws which prohibit contraband sales and trafficking crimes.

  78. @Lane I can only wonder if you actually go through life believing what you state here. If you sit quietly and consider this: Do you really think that Democrats want to do what you claim? Where people get these ideas is probably not that hard to figure, since even the president calls his opponents evil, but if you have any sense of self-respect you might at least consider that making obviously wrong claims about your political opponents will only convince others that you don't really understand much. I am not a leftist, whatever that means to you, but your comments belong in the comments section of sites that traffic in conspiracies.

  79. I don't believe we should ever deny the right to citizenship if you are born in the USA. We could however deny visas to pregnant women. This is a much simpler answer.

  80. You want to stop all pregnant women from visiting the United States? Even President Trump won't go for that one.

  81. @Linda

    I agree with your approach but we also need a different approach for pregnant women who simply cross physical borders and therefore don't even bother getting a visa.

  82. As a member the only group that did not willfully migrate to this country. ( Blacks brought here as slaves) I really take offense to the open door policies that are currently the practice here.
    The claim is always made that people come here to better their lives, this may be true, but how does this better the lives of those that are legally born here. It most certainly does not.
    You are mistreated in your country by gang violence or whatever so so you do not escape to the next non-violent country, you must come to the U.S. Are you escaping violence or using that as an excuse to gain entry here.
    Now we find that people are flouting the law with "birthing clinics" what a farce this is. Citizenship is an honor, America gives its citizens a chance to achieve their wildest desires. Unfortunately opportunity like everything except oxygen is finite.
    Those who legally enter and contribute deserve to benefit.
    Make no mistake about my use of the name ArubaG it is just a screen name, I am a Black American who loves his country. The rest of the world is filled with wonderful places to visit, but there is only one place to live for me, the U.S.A.
    I wish all well, but this "birthing center" hustle is just the latest travesty committed on the legal citizens of the U.S.

  83. First of all, it betters everyone’s life by increasing the number of college-educated people that are in this country, which is the likely end result of most of these births.

    Second, removing birthright citizenship would only serve to create an underclass of people born in the country but without legal documentation, or worse, completely stateless. That will create far more problems than it would ever possibly “fix,” and that will also erode your quality of life.

  84. @arubaG
    I agree as a livelong Democrat. The birth clinics are a farce used by the wealthy and near wealthy from other countries. Why doesn't Trump talk about this instead of endless talk about a wall that will never be built. Maybe too many investments in China.

  85. Wealthy Russian oligarchs are also putting their pregnant women in US to give birth. Not a good idea for U.S. Future Russian spies and operatives being born here now.

  86. @M What makes a US born Russian more susceptible to becoming a spy as opposed to anyone else? Why would someone born and raised in one country want to spy for a completely different country (other than for monetary reasons)?

  87. This article mischaracterized these businesses. They are not on the "margins of legality", they are totally illegal.

    The acceptance of crimes in this country, from the President all the way down to these outfits will lead to the ultimate destruction of our nation into a lawless land, where no body is punished except the poor.

  88. @Tom

    New York State has antiquated and very hard to grasp laws. Even reading the laws on their website is difficult.

    New York which is very mob run, does not operate in what California calls, the sunshine.

    I agree everything about these maternity centers are illegal.

    But it is New York State which fails to enforce whatever, labor, health and safety, business and occupations, building codes, etc. laws it does have, which is at fault in my opinion.

  89. Wonderful. Now a bunch of people who do not understand this issue are going to use it as a pretext for making a drastic changes to long-standing American principles that have nothing to do with this case.

    So-called “birth tourism“ affects the United States very little. It’s a benefit for people from countries that are typically strict or oppressive, but primarily in regards to their home country. While these children get US citizenship, the only advantage this really gives them is that they can go to public school for free and university at in-state tuition rates. While this sounds like it might cost us money, what it actually provides is a college-educated immigrant, which is actually a win for the United States.

    Where the American public often misunderstands this is that the mother who gave birth in the US gets no right of residency or citizenship herself, or any welfare benefits. Her child would have to wait until after he/she is over 21 and then go through a long process to get the mother or any other relative an immigrant visa.

    The advantage really is in protecting the child from the strict and oppressive rules of the mother’s home country. That is all.

    Resist the urge to use this as a pretext to end birthright citizenship. Birthright citizenship protects children who had nothing to do with choosing where they were born from being made a foreigner in their country of birth or, worse, completely stateless. That would create a whole new underclass

  90. @Nate Hilts

    The world really needs loads of new people!!!

    There are loads of underprivileged fourth, fifth generation Americans out there.

    I doubt that the American public misunderstands this. BTW some people will even get dual citizenship -- which I would love to have -- and will be raised as bilingual (something not often available to English-speaking American students.... )

    This is just a scam IMO. (i am very sorry that there are so many places in the world, where misbehaviour/
    injustice is constantly practiced.)

  91. These places should be seen for their positive side by pro-life conservatives and as a source of future taxpayers to deal with the deficits that the 2018 tax bill created for the future. And China is paying for it.

  92. This eye opening article is disturbing on so many levels including: building safety, immigration abuse and mental health. A devastatingly painful look at our times through a microscope.

  93. And people will try to fix all that by taking away birthright citizenship to children who had no choice over where they were born.

  94. Amazing that this article was run on the same day that the NYT ran another article extolling Democrats who want to abolish ICE, institute open borders & provide all illegal immigrants with all the rights & benefits of US citizens the moment they step foot in the country.

    The practice highlighted in this piece might be legal, but it's just as wrong as all the other tricks & ruses being employed to game the USA's very broken immigration laws/system.

    Sometimes it seems the NYT is secretly rooting for Trump.

  95. @curiousme and Taylor Swift and other Hollywood Luddites can afford for their taxes to support the tens of millions of undocumented,but I cannot.

  96. This woman worked long shirts to support her family and then came home to take care of her grandchildren. I was surprised to read that she comes home to take care of grandchildren when her son, their father, is right there. The assumption is that as the only adult female, after work she was expected to come home, prepare meals, clean house, and take care of children. It sadly appears that her physical and mental breakdown is a product of her own family's misogyny.

  97. Let's make sure to avoid the real point: poor working conditions and mental health. Forget the immigration issue for a moment.

    People who care for babies in France in a creche have to be licensed and get some sort of Master's degree.

    And none of them work "double shifts". These establishments need to be REGULATED. And the number of working hours, LIMITED and a minimum level of decent pay guaranteed.

    The problem is really GREEDY business owners. No one ever seems to want to discuss that.

  98. @J. Lamb, These 'establishments' should had never been allowed to begin with and they all should be shut down permanently.

  99. Liberals, among whom I include myself, already have a big-enough fight in the push for a social safety net for citizens whose families have contributed to this country for generations, sometimes centuries. We're also already persuaded of the dangers of lax regulation. Why then do too many of us turn a blind eye to porous borders and a gamed immigration system?

  100. @Blair because the same people that have contributed to this country for generations came through the same immigration process. It would be hypocritical and short-sited to decide that this batch of immigrants is worse than the previous batch of immigrants who were also given the same cold shoulder.

  101. I've known about the Chinese from Red China who travel to the US to have their babies in California for sometime.

    They have huge amounts of cash. I thought, as the article delineated, that the hospital care they sought was exceptionally high-end and very well qualified, medically.

    What I did not know is that there are non hospital like facilities which cater to Chinese tradition, rather than medical care.

    In California, the Labor Commissioner would have investigated the underpaid Ms. Wang. The business owner of the maternity center in Flushing would have been arrested and charged with wage theft, if the Commissioner could have identified many wage abuses. CAL Osha would have shut down the premises if it found to be a dangerous work environment.

    I agree with all of the commentators that birth tourism makes the US susceptible to future attacks from hostile countries from within, US born foreigners.

    Most foreigners that I have observed, in Particular, the wealthy Chinese, have cracked all of our legal codes.

    U.S. codes and laws were written for reasonable behavior, not for exploitation and harvesting a benefit from the Federal government, and I mean getting a Visa to visit the US to give birth in the US.

    This open door for future exploitation has to be closed.

    However, that stated, the U.S. does provide superior health care bar none throughout the world, but at a high cost. I understand the visitors to the US pregnant women's first motivation.

  102. This is an example of why Trump's base is so fired up about immigration. And why the Republicans will retain control of DC past November

  103. @I Heart This should be why Trump's base should be fired up about mental health care, in addition to the litany of other reasons.

  104. @I Heart nonsense. Why weren't they fired up when Bush was president? This was happening when he was in office. All they are doing is coming here so their babies could be U.S. citizens. What effect would that have on you or me? Unlike the people south of the border who come here and have kids then taxpayers pay for their hospital bills and schooling these people have different plans. Once their kids reach adulthood they will realize that being an American citizen comes with responsibilities like voting. paying taxes even if they live abroad, being drafted into the military if the president activates selective service, etc.

  105. Kids born to American parents in other countries do NOT get automatic citizenship in that country. We are stupid to allow this to continue.

  106. @Bar tennant it got nothing to do with "we." It has to do with the constitution. Most of the new world countries allow for citizenship for those born on their soil instead of only related by blood. Same for Canada, Mexico, even Australia, New Zealand, etc. These were all new countries discovered after the arrival of Columbus even though Australia and New Zealand are a world apart from us. Also do you seriously wish to have Chinese or Japanese citizenship because you happen to have been born there? They are the ones who want to come here or emulate us while living in their own countries.

  107. I am a liberal Democrat. We will not take back the House, the Senate, or the Presidency until we agree to limit immigration into the United States. We must not let temporary visitors who have babies in the United States obtain citizenship for their babies. This is simply not right and encourages horror stories like this one.

  108. @San Francisco Voter I agree with you and I say this as a former refugee, now Chinese-American US citizen. Birthright citizenship needs to stop along with the idea to "abolish ICE." Yes, we need better immigration policies -- I support DACA and a guest worker program -- but simply allowing people to come in without rational rules is stupid and why most moderate voters will oppose such policies.

  109. @San Francisco Voter no you're not. You just happen to live in San Francisco but that is the closest you get to anything liberal but surely not your politics. Every indication shows Democrats are gearing up to take back the House. I don't see what immigration has to do with this article. According to the article it's legal to do what they are doing as long as they can provide proof they have the money to pay for delivery of their babies and ancillary expenses. Not admitting upfront could affect them down the line if they try to get a green card through their children. But the article mentions that the parents care more about opportunities for their children in attending schools. This baby tourism has been going on for many years even under GWB who was a Republican president. His party controlled the House while it was happening. So why should the burden be on Democrats to fix immigration to win back the House? Also the Republicans, if you did not notice. control the House, the senate and the presidency so they have the power to do something about immigration. But they sure won't do anything to improve the chances of Democrats taking back the House.

  110. @San Francisco Voter Right.Im a democrat and i think the same.

  111. Naturalized U.S. citizen/former LEGAL immigrant to the United States, and from an Asian background.

    Whether we like it or not, immigration was brought to the forefront of U.S. politics by candidate Donald Trump in 2015, and whatever accusations of bigotry/racism thrown at him, the fact remains that birthright citizenship is taken advantage of. Illegal aliens from many countries come here and have children (anchor babies) so that as adults, the children may then petition for permanent residency for their illegal alien adult parents.

    This is different, but in the end, the generosity of the U.S. system is being abused. While the love parents have for their children is admirable - that they would go to great lengths to grant their kids a good future - if they are coming here just for citizenship and leaving so the children are raised abroad but can for life enjoy the benefits of what is a VERY prestigious citizenship - U.S. citizenship - that's exploitation. Would people in other countries like it if foreigners went there and took advantage of their citizenship?

    Birthright citizenship must end. If U.S. citizenship is sought after, one must follow every law and go through the process, waiting years and paying thousands of dollars to the government. It isn't cheap; it must be earned, for it is a privilege, not a right.

  112. A land of opportunity --- for whom? the already wealthy and educated maybe...

    perhaps pregnant women entering the late phases of pregnancy should not be permitted into the United States -- where they give birth to citizens...

    but the employment opportunities and conditions of employment that were open to Mrs. Wang. Yikes. No treatment for a severe depression.

  113. I consider myself a liberal but thos shadow path to US citizenship is troubling. Come to California and see the outcome and then ask if a border wall is the solution to immigration. How about the government focuses on birth migration that, in turn, leads to chain migration!

  114. and this is why the 14th amendment needs to be fixed

  115. Are these commentators Russian? I can't honestly believe that so many readers of the NY Times would be so against birthright citizenship, which a core part of the American identity. Other countries, like Japan etc., don't have birthright citizenship because their country was founded on the belief that they represent an ethnic nation of people. The US doesn't represent 1 ethnicity; it represents anyone born here. Remove birthright citizenship and you make the USA a country of ethnic whites (whatever that means).

    BTW guys, all of the Irish, Italian, Eastern European immigrants who came to the USA used birthright citizenship too. In the 1800s there was similar concerns by Anglo Saxon Americans about how new European immigrants where diluting the american identity.

  116. @Local Labrat It shouldn't become a business that takes advantage of it under these conditions. Do you actually condone what these people are doing?!

  117. @Local Labrat,

    It is 2018 not the 1800s.

    Different times call for different policies.

  118. @Local Labrat
    Umm, speaking as a child of eastern European immigrant parents: once my parents got here; they learned the language, they were employed, they raised me and my brother here, and one parent has died here. So, no, they didn't come here for the perks, or so that I could come and go as I pleased. They came here, and they stayed here. And, as a result I am an American citizen through and through, and I'll always be a native New Yorker.

  119. Night shift is not for everyone. I remember many years ago while working at a nursing home a woman who worked there said she used to work the night shift until she lost her mind. She could no longer function. It was as if she was going crazy. One day while walking down the street a man came up to her and handed her her shoe. She had walked out of one of her shoes and never knew she was walking on one shoe only. The only thing she did not reach the point where she tried to harm or kill residents of the nursing home. More research is needed on the effects of lack of sleep on human's mental condition.

  120. @Wayne I recall reading that the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl disasters were both linked to night shift work schedules and sleep deprivation.

  121. This is clearly an abusive practice. Why hasn’t anything at all been done about this? Just the fact that tax fraud was going on should be reason enough to close the building and arrest the owners. We also have to enact laws that stop this practice. Why hasn’t this been done already?

  122. These centers here and in California are a terrible abuse of birthright citizenship. This must somehow be contained.

  123. Birth tourism is in effect scamming the host country, taking advantage of the laws designed to protect its citizen. It's time to do something about this. The minimum would be to prohibit the sponsorship of parents by the child citizen.

  124. I always thought that the law of any type of illegal immigrants or tourists giving birth here in US soil for their offspring having citizenship status should be banned.
    This is common sense in today's world.

  125. We need to amend the Constitution to end birth-right citizenship.

    The corruption and incompetence of the US government is astounding to me.

  126. @WillT26. The left and the democrats (and repubs love their cheap labor) have fought any meaningful immigration reform for decades. Anybody who says anything against this system is immediately labeled a "xenophobic racist " cutting off any more discussion.

  127. Another progressive Democrat here, agreeing that birth tourism should be made illegal. How likely is it that anchor babies are going to come back here alone without their families when they are 21. The argument that they will come here to go to school is stupid; they would be close to graduating from college by that age. If not educated here, how competitive will they be in the job market? Its pretty clear this is a way to avoid going through legal immigration procedure.

    Now is the time to analyze the existing data, make thoughtful policy (this is not a voter issue) and enforce it consistently. Does this sound like something this administration and legislature is capable of doing? Right. We are light years away from addressing this practice.

  128. This is a terrifying issue perpetrated by greed. Those rich chinese folks who are taking advantage of citizenship by birth and yet owe no allegiance to America. Those same folks buy homes in expensive areas, driving housing markets up and keeping those who live locally out of the market. Certainly we need immigrants, but they need to be folks who wish to be American body and soul first. The law certainly needs to change and if the democrats don't recognize the importance of voicing their disapproval of citizenship by birth alone, we are going to have a awful runaway republican rule for a long time.....

  129. This is less about immigration law and birthright citizenship and way more about the assumption that this poor woman was expected to work long hours AND provide child care, meals, and a clean home for her sons and husband...or am I not allowed to speak negatively about cultural differences? Also~RIKERS?! Wtaf.

  130. Also, sounds like her obvious clinical depression was not properly treated—tranquilizers and sleeping pills? Did she have agitated depression? The evidence-based treatment now for first episode, clinical depression would be with an antidepressant and if the first one fails to help or causes intolerable side effects, there are dozens of others to try, sequentially or (if partial response is noted) adding a second to boost the response. Often it takes weeks to months to find the right match for the patient. Or, in some cases, particularly if there was undiagnosed bipolar disorder (recurrent episodes of depression, symptoms of pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), or prior post-partum psychotic depression are all red flags for this) an antidepressant used alone can trigger mania or throw the patient into a mixed state (low mood high energy) which is very dangerous. Very sad situation for all involved.

  131. @Shannon Brown Agreed! I'm sure the men were working hard too, but it's crazy to put all of that on one person. The family members sound concerned as quoted in the article, but a good first step could have been to offload some of the work she was responsible for.

  132. The whole thing is an absolute travesty. Let’s face it, the NYT might say that ‘birth citizenship’ was their secondary business but it was their first and main business. It is an absolute disgrace that the city of New York allows this type of activity. When you consider some of the ridiculous laws in the city, it’s not illegal to run a maternity ward in a private house? It’s an abomination. Shame on New York City for allowing such horrible places to exist.

  133. Why is any or all of this even allowed? Shut it down. Now.
    Arrest all who enable this enterprise and deport each and every one of them involved. Now. Rescind the U.S. citizenship of each and every baby born into these corrupt baby mills. This is crazy, all of it, from top to bottom. It is blatantly wrong and illegal. How can anyone justify the existence of birth tourism?

  134. @MS - Rescind their citizenship? I think you'd have to change the constitution.

  135. "how can anyone justify the existence of birth tourism?" I ask myself the same question!! and yet authorities know about the existence of such shady business and nothing is being done about it. maybe they are other aspects involved - money!!

  136. Garfield Medical Center, Monterey Park, CA see 2 bus loads of Chinese women arrive 9am straight from LAX every other Saturday. Go see for yourself. Every Chinese community runs this business. And you can go to WIC (Women Infants Children) and see brand new Lexus, 7 series BMW pull up and Chinese or Koreans get out to go in and get free food supplied by American taxpayer. Chinese are taught from birth to hate USA but want an anchor baby by which all relatives in China come to USA. Chinese author Eric Liu of Harvard says there have been millions and millions of Chinese Americans but zero American Chinese. Not 1. He says the few Americans who were granted Chinese citizenship were already chinese! Both parents born in PRC. Thus, the Chinese tariff is not limited to foreign goods.

  137. I don't see how this arrangement being unregulated had anything to do with the tragic attacks. A mentally fraught employee who is suicidal could have been working at a licensed hospital or other facility and still carried out the stabbings.

    It's when family, friends, and co-workers don't recognize the signs of a person reaching a limit that these tragedies occur. She "went postal" and that could have happened anywhere.

    The longer Trump stays in office, destroying regulations across every avenue of government, the less appealing the United States will be as a country where one might aspire to gain citizenship. By the time the US is trashed, our lives will be in tatters and immigration will not be a concern at all. As it is, we are selling ourselves short keeping immigrants out.

  138. There is so much concern in the comments about birthright citizenship and so little concern about the conditions the care takers work in and the dubious medical quality of the facility and the risk this puts the babies and mothers in. Immigration law is controversial and complicated, making sure workers and new parents are properly cared for should not be a second thought.

  139. @Alex, So apparently you're all good with birth tourism and baby mills? These women should not even be here giving birth in our country to begin with. This is genuinely a very shady, questionable business from A to Z.

  140. Birth tourism is illegal. All of these birth tourism centers are illegal. Women are coached in how to discuss their visit to the US, and arrive well before they begin to be visibly pregnant. In many cases, they give birth at taxpayer expense - they leave the US before they are required to pay the delivery and hospital charges. It's a horrible consequence of the misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment, which was never designed as a backdoor citizenship mechanism. Hopefully, this will be revisited at SCOTUS, and the birth tourism industry eliminated as anchor babies and birth citizenship is eliminated.

  141. It’s not as if the clients at these shady places don’t know or don’t see the slave labor-like working conditions of the employees. They just choose to look the other way around. Any recovering mother at these places can’t avoid it. It’s a common cultural norm in many south Asian and south-east Asian countries to treat low wage workers and servants like slaves, backed by a classist belief that if you are down on your luck, you don’t deserve to be treated like a human. Maids in India face similar conditions. And these societies also make it impossible for such folks to raise their voice.

  142. @Eastbackbay, Nice people.

  143. No offense to the reporters of this piece, but could the NYT really find not even one single Asian reporter to cover Flushing? I'm not suggesting that only members of X minority group can cover X minority group, but surely in this case familiarity with language and customs would have been helpful.
    - Auntie is the term for any older woman, especially those in domestic service.
    - As another commenter noted, Mei Bao in this context American baby, not beautiful baby.
    - Do we really need to interview a sociology professor to interpret the apparently mysterious and exotic practices of the Chinese? How many "terms" do we need to put in quotes to denote their foreignness, as if we are deciphering some faraway culture, as opposed to residents of an NYC borough?
    - When did biting off your tongue become a "distinctively Chinese form of suicide"?

  144. Trump, I voted for Hillary in 2016. Stop the anchor babies and in 2020 you will have my vote and the votes of millions like me

  145. @ABCI dont think that will change thing continue the same or worse.Forget if.

  146. Utterly astounding.
    An article critical of immigration abuses, and the word "Trump" does not appear once. Wouldn't it be good reporting, and helpful to let us know where our politicians stand on the issue of birth tourism? Why leave us clueless?

  147. @A. Man
    Well, I'm pretty sure we know where Trump would stand on this one. And though I'm dismayed to be in agreement with Trump, I would agree on this - I'm very much against it.

  148. Seems like this poor woman bore all the responsibilities for this family of men. The husband allegedly unable to work. Where are the sons? and the daughters-in-law? Apparently they dumped the grandchildren on this woman, too. Her husband and sons should be ashamed. They bear responsibility.

  149. None of this should be legal.

  150. A money making enterprise that exploits workers. My only question is, who would leave their precious newborn in a place like that?

  151. @Chris:

    The mothers are on site (though on another floor of the building). The purposed is so-called "Chain Migration" where an "anchor baby" allows the entire family to legally immigrate to the U.S.

  152. I am a second-generation immigrant born to parents who came to the U.S. legally in the '70s. While my parents arrived poor, they both had obtained scholarships for graduate education in the Midwest.

    Stories like this about such naked opportunism disgust me and give immigrants a bad name. You want to be a citizen of a country -- so your first act is to break its laws? I am all for empathy but no one should be rewarded for committing fraud.

    Immigration is a highly complex topic, far more so than chants and slogans ("End ICE", "End family separation") would suggest. We need to close loopholes for "anchor babies" (an accurate term IMO) and economic opportunism masquerading as asylum claims. In LA, we also have the problem of visitors (not immigrants per se) bringing sick relatives here and dropping them off at hospitals for long-term care -- free of charge.

    The left tip toes around these problems. It is not sustainable and in the long-run only further inflames xenophobia.

  153. I'm all for compassion when it comes to immigration, but this is just ridiculous.
    There really needs to be some common sense reform, and this is a prime example of abuse of the system.

  154. Committing suicide by biting one’s tongue (“咬舌自尽“) is a common plot device in Chinese movies set in olden times. It usually comes up when someone is tied up or otherwise trapped, and death by biting the tongue is a way to outwit the captors.

    Much discussion on the internet whether it is actually possible to die this way. No consensus.

  155. @Iconic Icon Such a clinical observation in the wake of tremendous trauma.

  156. I think it’s really unfortunate people are using this tragedy to protest immigration. The issue here isn’t birth tourism. The issues are 1) unregulated businesses and 2) lack of mental health support in the Chinese community. If this birth center didn’t exist, another shady business would have taken advantage of Mrs. Wang for sure. If she wasn’t allowed to immigrate here, she would have still suffered from mental illness in China.

  157. @XC. No, it is about immigration and birth tourism and birthright citizenship and chain migration, just like many of us have been saying all along.

  158. If her husband cannot work anymore, how do they remain in this country? Also, why are her sons not working? Why are they having kids and making their mother take care of them? This is her family's fault. What she was undertaking was way too much pressure on anyone. Meanwhile, why is our government permitting such "businesses" to exist?

  159. @atb it may be that there is more to the situation than meets the eye which is why it’s always good “self care” advice to refrain from developing strong opinions about situations that have nothing to do with you and about which you can’t possibly know the details.

  160. I have to agree with you, I am Chinese and these relatives sound heartless. If you know your mother is in the throes of a mental breakdown, you don’t let her go back to work especially the midnight shift with crying children.

  161. At the birth hotels in the Arcadia area near Los Angeles, the women were giving birth at nearby hospitals, then stiffing the hospital on the bill. Impossible to collect from the parents, who returned to China. Maybe criminally charging the owners for this type of organized fraud is a way to shut down the hotels.

  162. The existence of such places does imply a very wide-reaching sort of corruption. I have never known the Democrat, Republican, independent or other actual US citizen who thinks a “semi-legal” business should exist. Why isn’t there a bill before Congress now? Is this place serving other functions such as supplying babies for adoption in our country? Primary and secondary purposes may be referred to, but there may logically be others.

  163. ​I'm an immigrant born in Taiwan, but I was born with dual citizenship bc my dad received American citizenship in the 80s for STEM education and employment in Boston. While I have had citizenship, I wanted to come for a "world-class" college education so bad that I learned to become fluent and taught myself American customs before I made the move. While I totally understand the struggles of immigration, I'm completely against illegal immigration and even legal immigration that may put additional strain on limited public school resources and the welfare system. Clearly, we don't have endless resources in this country. Clearly, there are enough poor and struggling Americans already (I went to 3 different American high schools, and 1 of them was bad, and it wasn't even in the "ghetto", but it was in an area with lots of fresh non-English-speaking immigrants; it really broke my heart to see the limited attention per student was getting). It's hardly disputable that all national governments are created with the fundmental goal to serve their nations, first. And if you've traveled to other developed countries in the past few years, you know America is in decline or at least stagnating. We need all the resources we could get to make ourselves highly competitive again. Therefore, you really should only come here if you love the culture and really want to learn the language and the customs. France requires that in their immigration application process.

  164. @JT
    Thank you for your thoughtful comments and offering your perspective.

  165. Putin and Trump have supported Russia to America birth tourism forever. Many of the Russians stay in Trump's hotels while Trump continues to look the other way. Mainly because of Putin's support and successful interference in the past Presidential election and the upcoming November election.

    Trump supported his wife's questionable immigration and her chain migration strategy to get her parents US citizenships.

    Do not expect our government under Trump to interfere here. He's continuing to look the other way on this one folks!

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/birth-tourism-brings-russian-baby-b...

  166. Welcome to NY, a no- border, sanctuary city. I am glad I live in a red state.

  167. I'm sorry how did you get to America ?because unless your ancestors are Native American , you are not native to America we are all immigrants. Some by choice and some by force.

  168. Ireland simply got rid of the law that allowed foreigners to come into the country, give birth and automatically claim citizenship for the child. They simply stopped giving unconditional citizenship to babies born in the country and required more proof of who the parents are, where they live, if they're legal residents or citizens or if they're just birth tourists.

    We need to stop it, too. It's ridiculous. And it's an invitation to espionage, as we have seen among Russians in the US. Many Russians commit fraud once in the US, leading to a robust Russian mob. Take away citizenship and deport them back to Russia. All immigrants who engage in fraud against the US and it's citizens should lose citizenship and be deported to their homelands. There are plenty of "Mariel boatlift" scams going on where countries send criminals and agents of chaos to the US to destabilize the country.

  169. "...mostly well-off mothers from China, Korea, Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Nigeria to the United States for birthright citizenship,..."
    "... residents worried that the incident would stir up anti-immigrant attitudes toward their community."

    Those residents must be rocket scientists with their prediction. Meanwhile, thousands of citizens from Latin America who have bona-fide asylum claims, or who came to the US under legal programs such as the TPS, and are law abiding residents are being deported. Their crime? The color of their skin and their lack of money.

  170. What a different world this would be if every exploited, depressed worker who decided to commit suicide managed to leave innocent babies out of it.

  171. Now you guys understand why Mr. Trump keeps on winning.

  172. @Rose I do not see that he is doing something in immigration,thing are the same or worse since he entered the presidency,I dont thing is easy.

  173. @Rose
    Why is there a thriving birthing industry in the Trump owned buildings in Miami?

  174. @Rose

    I understand Trump appeals to the selfish and fearful side of Americans. Selfish because Trump falsely characterizes immigrants (legal or not) as burdens who take without giving back and to our fears by falsely characterizing Hispanics and those from the Middle East as threats to our "American culture" and as killers as in MS-13 and religious terrorists. So he works to keep them out and harass them.

    In the meantime, nothing is done to solve the much more serious issue of guns that kill 95 people per day (35,000 per year or the equivalent of over eleven 9/11 attacks. Can't even do anything about bump stocks that contributed to 58 deaths and 851 injured (422, by gunshot) in Las Vegas.

    Yours and Trump's concept of "winning" focuses on the something nearly trivial compared to the massive amounts of innocent lives lost by gunfire. But it appeals to you I guess because "tourist babies" is an issue you can blame someone else and be a victim. So easy to be a victim, right? Dealing with gun violence requires us to act upon ourselves which is hard to do. Trump knows this and relieves you of having to actually do something that affects you.

  175. It is just about the only thing I might agree on with Trump. Nowhere I am aware of will automatic citizenship be granted to babies born on their soil unless one of the parents is at least a legal resident. The birth-tourism is not only a Chinese specialty. People from all over Latin America who can afford it, will come to the US to give birth and leave in a couple of weeks with a US citizen in arms. It should not be this easy to obtain such a valuable asset as a US citizenship without ever contributing with anything to this country and possibly never living here.... or possibly, in a few years petitioning to bring their whole family here without any of them ever having worked or paid taxes in the US or qualified in any way to become a citizen except being related to one.

  176. It’s time for a Constitutional Convention.

  177. No matter your political persuasion, it seems hard to disagree that someone traveling to the US with the sole purpose of giving birth to secure citizenship for the child is abusing the right and privilege of birthright citizenship in the constitution. The article doesn't appear to state what (if any) laws are being broken, either by these establishments or the mothers/family members. Short of a constitutional amendment, it would be illuminating to read about types of legal statutes congress can enact to enable prosecution/penalties or denial of citizenship. For instance, proof of minimum residency requirements?

  178. Yet. Trump never talks about the Chinese coming here to have kids illegally.

  179. @SomeWhereOutWest. Conspicuosly absent from this account is the "Birth Tourism" that one Donald J Trump himself has been running for RUSSIAN families. Wonder why that was not mentioned? And why you never hear him or his flunkies scream about this form of cheating the immigration system??

  180. First, Godspeed to all the injured.

    Second, this sad story is just additional confirmation of the mess our immigration system is in.

    If there are applicable federal laws, the US Attorney needs to convene a grand jury about “birth tourism.” If there is no legislation prohibiting such unregulated practices, then Congress needs to act immediately to make it illegal.

  181. A 12 hour shift earning $100 translates to $8.33 /hour.
    You get the quality of care giver you pay for.
    Require these places to pay a much higher wage with a much shorter shift time.

  182. @david, $8.33 hourly rate is measly by US standard. But if you think of converting that USD into RMB, it's not something to sneeze at in China.

  183. The person receiving that salary lives in USA not China.

  184. @david
    comes to about 24,000a year if they vwork 48 weeks of the year. tax free since under the table...not so bad if you have no skills and cannot speak English,,,,

  185. This is a terrible abuse of US immigration law and changes should be made...after we deal with more pressing issues.

    Statistically, ninety five people every day die from gunfire of which a third are homicide. About two children per week are accidentally shot. If these statistics were for something like a virus or foreign terrorism, the outcry would be tremendous.

    But, it's okay, I guess, because Americans shooting and killing Americans is part of our culture. So much so, deaths from guns don't make national news. At least not nearly as much as stabbings and "tourist babies" where everyone survives.

    At the rate Americans die from gunfire, we had better replenish ourselves with a few "anchor babies". Besides, as a demographic, Asians have a pretty good stereotype as hard working and quiet. May or may not be true, but it's the stereotype.

    Perhaps these people would be more productive and less deadly than a semi automatic weapon, especially with bump stock added. Haven't even done much with bump stocks either.

    Maybe a compromise: For each person killed in the US by guns, allow one "anchor baby". For each person wounded by guns, allow 1/2 "anchor baby" Absurd, not nearly as absurd or tragic as gun deaths.

  186. "Once United States citizens turn 21, they are eligible to sponsor a parent for a green card, giving their parents the option of eventually settling there."

    Sounds to me like a really long end game for immigrating to the U.S.

    21 years folks.

  187. @mlb4ever
    Are you saying that this is an unlikely reason, then, for birth tourism? Can you think of a better one?

    The parents are looking ahead twenty-one years, and envision a comfortable retirement paid for by US taxpayers! That's not crazy at all. The proof is, they're doing it! Maybe more Americans should think about the long end-game. It comes to all of us.

  188. Some years ago, I recall there were airlines and customs policies to disallow women whose pregnancy is beyond threshold (?third trimester?) to board airplane in order to disallow practice of "birth tourism". Combined with the sensible visa period that would not allow a woman to stay beyond the childbirth date, it would have prevented "birth tourism" from taking hold.

    These days, tourist visas don't seem to be that hard to come by anymore. And I don't know if that airline/customs rule is still in place. In totality, it allows these practice of birth tourism to fester. This is just so wrong.

  189. I believe that the rule is that you can’t fly after 36 weeks (34, maybe earlier, if carrying multiples). We travelled before my second child was born (to go on holiday, just to be clear!) and I was 33 weeks. The airline nearly didn’t let me onboard because I did not have a note from my doctor that I was safe to fly, but fortunately I was travelling with my pregnancy notes so I could prove that I was a low risk pregnancy, and there was no issue with my flying.
    So I don’t know how you can travel just before giving birth unless you lie about how far along you are, particularly if you’re not that big? But even so, as seen in my eg airlines can refuse to carry you from 32 weeks.

  190. “These days, tourist visas don’t seem to be that hard to come by anymore.” Have you applied for a US visa before, or recently? Or any visa from any other country? I have held some form of US visa for more than 20 years (a citizenship or green card does not appeal to me) and have had many passports that are full because of stamps from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. I can tell you that they make renewing a US visa so inefficient and inconvenient that it’s really not worth it if you don’t desperately need or want to apply.

  191. I can't believe that 'businesses' like Mei Bao are legal. In my neighborhood a woman was recently convicted for running an unlicensed daycare center out of her home that did not meet regulations. How can that be legal in NYC and LA?

  192. It’s not a daycare if the mother is on site.

  193. I'm the child and wife of immigrants, but I object to birth tourism—the practice of women giving "birth in the United States in order to obtain instant citizenship for their children, which is legal under immigration law."

    This policy needs reviewing—to my knowledge, it does not exist anywhere else in the world. If I gave birth as an American overseas, I know of no other country where my baby would have automatic citizenship.

    The children are raised in the parents' home country, but once they reach college age, they apply to American universities as American citizens and are therefore eligible for financial aid.

  194. I'm a Democrat and It's time that Democrats face reality: current immigrants are not looking to benefit this country or its values, but to exploit it. Most immigrants come for the money. Many have told me themselves and laugh at Americans and Canadians for being so naïve. And it's not just birth tourism. Other weak areas are exploited. Many apply for easy-to-get student visas. Then they get scholarships that pay for their tuition while American students have to get loans and work while attending school. Then after they get degrees they appeal to American sensitivity as descendants of immigrants to help them get a job, mostly as professors, so they can stay in this country since universities can get work visas very easily for professors. This policy was meant to attract the talented and brightest. But these professors hired are not at all. Then America's brightest and most talented are given part-time and temporary faculty jobs. It's time Democrats stop supporting Republicans unknowingly. It was Obama got rid of the policy that grant Cubans who set foot in this country all the benefits of citizenship. It was during his tenure when deportations increased. It's Republicans who encourage illegal immigration to offer low wage labor to corporations. Then they blame it on Democrats. Vote in November! Puerto Rico is a good example. It declined economically after immigrants, particularly Cubans, made a lot of money and did not reinvest sending the money out of the island.

  195. @ARTI agree it is time for we democrats to understand that the immigration issue is key. birth tourism is incredibly common in nyc-I know because I have been told by resident docs that they see the babies at bellevue, short term and then the babies leave. If the baby is sick Ex: (serious congenital heart diseases) they stay in the US getting incredible (free fare costing huge amounts) care. must stop, I believe in birthright citizenship in theory but these crazy loopholes and economic migration pretending to be asylum must stop.

  196. @ART Don't forget all those Republican run sanctuary cities like San Francisco and all the Republicans in Hollywood using illegals as nannys, housekeepers and gardeners. Yes, illegals are definitely a Republican problem.

  197. This is a tragic story God bless those families.

    American moms need a place like this where you live and someone helps you take care of your kid for a month while you get adjusted and the baby gets adjusted to night and day. Kind of a genius idea if we can find a way to do this legitimately in the United States for all mothers this would be great.

  198. @Marcy:

    Did you read what these centers charge?
    For that amount, anyone could buy similar "services"...and this isn't "helping" new mothers, it is separating new mothers from newborns which is the opposite of what we know to be the best thing to do....
    Yes, maternity leave policies in the U.S. are a joke, especially when compared to any other developed nation....but that is not the issue the article covers.

  199. I am American and for many years, I lived in Dubai, UAE as an expat. At the time, I was pregnant with my second child. I met numerous pregnant women from all countries - Iran, India, Lebanon, Turkey etc at playgrounds, yoga classes, and around town who told me they were going to the US to deliver their babies. Baffled a bit, I asked why and they would explain they wanted their child to have a US passport. They would stay with a “cousin in Dallas” or a “friend in NJ” for a month or two and then fly home. Obviously these women had the money to make the trip and made arrangements on the US side.
    As a US citizen, these children would have an easier time applying to private American elementary schools in the UAE bc they were US passport holders.
    These US citizens would often grow up never living in the US and as adults, conveniently never pay taxes to Uncle Sam. The rest of American expats living and working outside of the US don’t have this luxury.
    Birth tourism must must must be changed in this country. Large coats and abayas can hide a lot....

  200. Hope the babies will be ok. She did something hint monstrous but her life is so so hard. The streets of America aren’t really paved with gold. I’m sad for all the families.

  201. @Tedj,
    the woman has become mentally ill. She needs psychiatric care.

  202. Can the NYT or another media organization investigate whether bribery is why these illegal centers are not shut down by city agencies that are looking the other way?

  203. This article has an interesting "tone", an underlying bias that subtly attempts to portray the situation - dozens of maternity hotels where, it seems, based on the article about LA cited, 100s of thousands of "illegal" legal immigrants are being born - as perhaps less onerous than it is.
    The order of the listing of services seems to indicate that the prevalent practice is serving immigrant mothers residing in the US, but no statistics are given on the ratio of legal to illegal births at the center.
    Sentences like "Some of them would have been following the custom of a monthlong rest after childbirth. The period culminates in a “red egg celebration..." depict the centers in a good light. The word "some" could mean anything, why isn't the reporter more specific?
    Further: "residents worried that the incident would stir up anti-immigrant attitudes" and "It can be legal...", frame the issue in a way that subtly shifts the moral context: it's not the centers who are charging exorbitant fees for an illegal service who are at fault, rather it is those who might object to this practice.

  204. Another case of the Uncle Sam being asleep while the world takes advantage of us. The 14th Amendment has been wrongly interpreted to include non citizens gaining birthright citizenship, which has developed into birth tourism. Mr. Trump vowed to end this practice but has done nothing. When will we wake up and fix this? Only when the people demand it and unfortunately most Americans are CLUELESS.

  205. Open borders, isn't that what liberals want? 14th Amendment interpretation protects birth tourism. Supreme Court would have to change its interpretation or the Constitution would have to be amended, both of which are next to impossible. So birth tourism is here to stay. With fraud like this, and Trump campaigning on addressing immigration, are you really shocked at the 2016 election result?

  206. "Mei Bao" has two meanings--"beautiful baby" and "American baby".

  207. So much is wrong here! First, as a Queens resident, I'd like to know-- why are such monstrosities allowed to be built all over Queens? Hideous new-ish buildings with wall-hung a/c's, front "yards" paved over, probably illegally for parking. Total eyesores! Do we not have any building standards in place to protect our neighborhoods???

    Then I just want to say-- liberal Times readers, if you are still wondering why Trump was elected, look no further than this article, both the contents and the tone in which it is written:

    This is simply a Chinese tradition! And perfectly legal! It is a shame that one lady went nuts and killed 3 infants, but that is a mere footnote in this latest tale of The Marvelous Diversity and customs from far away lands which we must accommodate.

  208. It’s time to end birth right citizenship and chain migration. Some legal scholars have said the14th amendment can be changed simply by having congress address the issue with SCOTUS to correctly interpret its meaning. Trump is the only politician who has the guts to put this in motion. Durbin, Schumer and Pelosi are the obstructionists in this entire illegal immigration debate, as they continue to fight for open borders and rights for illegal aliens. Deblasio and brown should be ostracized for turning a blind eye to these illegal birthing tourist hotels snd giving their owners a free pass.