Donald Trump launches crackdown on women travelling to US to give birth

Trump Administration targets 'Birth Tourism'.
Trump Administration targets 'Birth Tourism'. Photo credit: Getty

The US Department of State has revealed new visa regulations that will crack down on pregnant women who travel to the US to give birth so their children can have an American passport.

The practice the Trump Administration calls 'Birth Tourism' is when pregnant women travel to the US, because under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, any babies born on American soil are automatically a citizen. 

But from Friday, the State Department will stop issuing temporary visitor visas to women travelling to the US to give birth without proof they have a medical reason to be doing so. 

They will now be treated like any other foreigners travelling to the US for medical treatment and must prove they have the money to pay for it, including transportation and living expenses, reports the Guardian. 

The White House press secretary said in a statement on Thursday the law change is vital to enhance public safety, national security and the integrity of the immigration system. 

"The birth tourism industry threatens to overburden valuable hospital resources and is rife with criminal activity, as reflected in federal prosecutions," said Stephanie Grisham.

"It will also defend American taxpayers from having their hard-earned dollars siphoned away to finance the direct and downstream costs associated with birth tourism. The integrity of American citizenship must be protected."

But there are some concerns over how officers would determine whether a woman is pregnant to begin with or if a woman could get denied entry into the country if a border officer thought she was pregnant by looking at her.