Immigration experts discuss ‘birth tourism’ after feds raid suspected ‘maternity hotels’ in Southern California

Mar 3, 2015

Babies At The Critically Ill Baby Aid Center

A nurse holds a baby’s hand at the Critically Ill Baby Aid Center of Anhui Children Hospital on April 14, 2005 in Hefei of Anhui Province, east China.; Credit: China Photos/Getty Images

In the latest move to investigate “birth tourism,” federal agents served search warrants at 20 locations in Southern California early Tuesday.

The feds raided the homes of people suspected of running the “maternity hotels” as well as apartment complexes in Irvine, Rowland Heights, Walnut, and Rancho Cucamonga. According to affidavits, the operators of these homes would charge Chinese women tens of thousands of dollars to help them travel to the U.S. on a fraudulent tourist visa, teach them how to get into the country, and then house them for the months until they give birth.

What else can the federal government do to help quell “birth tourism?” Is it becoming a more prevalent phenomenon across the country? What economic and social concerns does it pose? 


Frank Shyong, reporter with the Los Angeles Times

Leslie Berestein-Rojas, KPCC reporter

Curt Hagman, State Representative for District 4 on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. He is also a former Assembly member who introduced legislation aimed at reducing the amount of illegal birth tourism in California.

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