The United States of America (USA) has announced its new visa rule that restricts birth tourism in the country.
According to the new rule, foreign pregnant women, including those from Nigeria, who visit the country with the aim of giving birth so that their children can have American citizenship, will no longer be offered visas.
The announcement came in a statement released by Stephanie Grisham, the White House Press Secretary. She stated that the rule, which has been sent to the US Embassies around the world, would take effect from January 24.
“The state department would no longer be issuing temporary visitor (B-1/B-2) visas to aliens seeking to enter the United States for birth tourism – the practice of travelling to the United States to secure automatic and permanent citizenship for their children by giving birth on American soil. The rule change is necessary to enhance public safety, national security and the integrity of our immigration system.
“The birth tourism industry threatens to overburden valuable hospital resources and is rife with criminal activity, as reflected in federal prosecution. closing this glaring immigration loophole will combat these endemic abuses and ultimately protect the United States from the national security risks created by this practice.
“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,” the statement read.
What you should know: The US President, Donald Trump has made restricting immigration his utmost concern since the start of his administration. He has often threatened to put a stop to birthright citizenship in the past even when members of his administration warned him against such decision.
Birth tourism is a business where companies offer foreign women the chance to go to the U.S. on a tourist visa, have a baby, get medical care, get citizenship and then leave. There are also women who enter the U.S. illegally to give birth. Trump and his members refer to such babies as anchor babies.
Why this matters: With this rule, Nigerian women fond of using pregnancy to travel abroad, solely to give birth would now be turned down. Nigeria is number three on birth tourism list in the United States after Russia and China.
On Tuesday, the US announced its plans to impose fresh visa restrictions on countries, including Nigeria as reported on Nairametrics.