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US to impose visa restrictions for pregnant women to crackdown on 'birth tourism'

US to impose visa restrictions for pregnant women to crackdown on 'birth tourism'
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The State Department plans to impose travel restrictions on pregnant women visiting the U.S.

The move is an effort to curve “birth tourism,” in which foreign-born women visit the U.S. specifically to give birth. Sources within the State Department shared a draft of the new regulations with the Associated Press, which revealed that women who are pregnant and otherwise eligible for U.S. tourist visas will have to prove that they are visiting the U.S. for a reason other than to have their child. 

The proposed rule is “intended to address the national security and law enforcement risks associated with birth tourism, including criminal activity associated with the birth tourism industry,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hill in a statement.

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"The final rule also codifies a requirement that B visa applicants who seek medical treatment in the United States must demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the consular officer, their arrangements for such treatment and establish their ability to pay all costs associated with such treatment," the statement read.

In the past, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE has said that the administration is “seriously looking into” ending birthright citizenship.

Last week, a Hong Kong airline apologized after asking a woman to take a pregnancy test before boarding a flight from Japan to Saipan, an American territory that’s a popular destination for expectant mothers in southeast Asia. 

It’s unclear how the new rule would determine which women are subject to inquiry. However, Midori Nishida, one of the women who was subjected to a pregnancy test in a flight from Japan to Saipan, said the paperwork she saw said she was selected because she was “observed to have a body size/shape resembling a pregnant lady.”