CBP: Giving birth not grounds for inadmissibility

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said pregnant women coming to the United States—mainland, Hawaii, or any territory—just to give birth is not a ground for inadmissibility since there are no U.S. immigration laws that prohibits such practice.

“Coming to the U.S. in order to give birth does not, in and of itself, render an individual inadmissible,” said CBP program manager and public affairs liaison Frank Falcon, in an email to Saipan Tribune.

Falcon said there are no specific laws or regulations that prohibit pregnant foreign nationals to enter the U.S. “As with any applicant for admission, the traveler must demonstrate he/she is a U.S. citizen.”

“Or, if a foreign national, has overcome all grounds of inadmissibility. There is no inadmissibility ground within the U.S. immigration law that prohibits the birth of a child in the U.S.,” added Falcon.

He said determining the admissibility of a traveler is based on inspections conducted by a CBP officer and individuals who are applying as temporary visitors must overcome all grounds of inadmissibility.

“As with any traveler, CBP will examine whether or not the traveler is admissible. The intent to enter the U.S. must be consistent with the visa/entry documents presented for entry,” said Falcon.

“Including the requirement that the traveler not [to] abandon foreign residence, has no intent to return, will be able to maintain status while in the U.S. and be able to provide for all attendant costs while in the U.S. (including medical and personal costs) and for return.”

Foreign nationals can also get medical care and other treatment provided that they can pay their own bills. “Medical care is allowable activity within the temporary visitor visa (B1/B2) category, provided the traveler has the means to pay for the associated medical costs.”

“To the extend that an individual is entering with the intent to remain beyond the time period allotted by her visa or to have her childbirth costs paid for by public dollars, this would render an applicant inadmissible.”

Latest statistics

A total of 715 babies were born to foreign parents based on data, from the period of January 2015 to September 2016, obtained by Saipan Tribune from the Health and Vital Statistics Office of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.

Out of the 715 babies, 692 or more than 95 percent are by Chinese women. In calendar year 2015 alone there are 379 childbirths by Chinese nationals, while there are 383 from the period of January to October 2016.

Saipan Tribune hasn’t obtained the numbers from the last two months (November and December) of the 2016 calendar year.

There are also 15 babies born from Korean parents, five from Filipino, two Japanese, and one Russian during that 22-month period. All babies are U.S. passport holders.

There were only eight recorded child births from Chinese parents in 2009 and that number jumped to a staggering 3,000 percent or 282 in 2012, where it jumped to close to 150 percent from the current data.

CHCC has also implemented a policy where they would not start processing the papers of the newborn baby until the parents settle all of their medical bills at the hospital.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez has been covering local and international sports events for more than 15 years. His sports writing career started when he joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, when he was in college.

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