Under a new rule going into effect Friday, the State Department will have the ability to deny a visitor visa to any pregnant woman suspected of traveling to the United States in order to give birth and secure American citizenship for her child.
The Trump administration on Thursday said it is cracking down on "birth tourism" because it "poses risk to national security." Having a baby is "not a legitimate activity for pleasure or of a recreational nature," the State Department said, and the ability to deny visas closes an "immigration loophole," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham announced. "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 State Department estimates that "thousands of children" are born in the U.S. every year to people in the country on nonimmigrant visas. This new rule will not affect visitors from 39 countries where citizens are able to stay in the United States for up to 90 days without a visa, NPR reports. Birth tourism is often linked to visitors from Russia, China, and Nigeria.