Date: February 1, 2019
By: Cheri Mossberg and Caitlin Hu, CNN
(CNN)Three people were arrested on charges of running “birth tourism” companies that catered to Chinese clients in Southern California Thursday. It is the first time that criminal charges have been filed in a US federal court over the practice, according to Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office.
“Birth tourists” travel to foreign countries to give birth, so that their children acquire the citizenship of that country. In the US, the legal principle of jus soli automatically confers citizenship upon babies born on US soil. Other countries, including Switzerland and Japan, do not grant citizenship automatically unless one or more parents are also citizens.
The three people in custody had not given comment at time of publishing. All were charged “conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, international money laundering and identity theft,” according to the DOJ statement. [FULL STORY]