The Trump administration is on Thursday (Jan. 23) expected to announce plans for new visa restrictions aimed at eliminating so-called “birth tourism”.
Birth tourism is defined as the practice of travelling to another country for the purpose of giving birth.
The new guidelines would make it more difficult for an applicant to get a tourist visa while pregnant.
While consular staff are not allowed during visa interviews to ask whether a woman is pregnant or intends to become so, staff would now have the added responsibility of trying to determine the reasons behind the visit
According to the US State Department, visa applicants deemed by consular officers to be coming to the US to give birth will now be treated like other foreigners coming to the US for medical treatment, having to satisfy a means requirement.
President Trump has made immigration one of the central issues of his administration, noting that it is a “crisis that threatens national security”.
He has further taken issue with birthright citizenship -which recognizes the right of anyone born on US soil to be considered a citizen.
It is estimated that approximately 40,000 annual births are recorded for parents in the United States as birth tourists.