An immigration watchdog has bad news for Americans who are championing an announcement by the Trump administration: Only action by Congress will change the current law that is abused by tens of thousands foreigner every year.
Last week, the Trump administration issued new visa rules to restrict “birth tourism,” the longtime practice of pregnant women travelling to the United States to give birth to their children.
That allowance takes place thanks to a liberal interpretation of the 14th Amendment.
According to The Center for Immigration Studies, approximately 36,000 foreign-born women gave birth in the U.S. in 2012 alone.
Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform says the 14th Amendment, ratified by Congress in 1868, was written to recognize emancipated slaves as American citizens.
“And if you read what the framers had said,” Mehlman tells OneNewsNow, “they were very clear about who this citizenship clause would apply to and who would not.”
The new restrictions, announced last week by the State Dept, state that foreigners will be denied a tourist visa if it is suspected they are attempting to come to the U.S. to give birth, The Associated Press reported.
The AP called the practice “fundamentally legal” and said women routinely do not hide their intentions since many show signed contracts with the hospital they intend to use to give birth.
The same story also suggested it's unclear how the State Dept will bar pregnant women from the U.S. since consular employees who screen women don't have the right to ask about pregnancy. But medical needs are part of the screening process, the AP story stated elsewhere.
Mehlman says the issue must be resolved by Congress, not the executive branch.
“The ultimate responsibility rests with Congress,” he insists. “They need to enact legislation that says henceforth we will be interpreting the 14th Amendment in a way that is consistent with the way that framers had in mind.”