ANCHOR BABIES

California Officials Raid ‘Maternity Tourism’ House

This is not something you hear every day: California officials raided a “maternity tourism” house, where Chinese women paid tens of thousands of dollars to have babies in the U.S.—making them American citizens. “I have never seen anything like this before,” said city inspector Clayton Anderson, who shut down the house on March 9. While the "anchor baby" claims have caused some lawmakers to question the 14th Amendment—which guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the U.S.—much of that debate has been focused on poor immigrants from Latin America and Mexico, not relatively well-off Chinese women, some of whom even returned to China after giving birth. Anderson said the California center, nestled on a quiet residential street, was kept clean, with luxurious rooms—one even fitted with a whirlpool and personal refrigerator. The State Department, which grants the tourism visa, is not allowed to deny a woman entry simply because she is pregnant.