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The Trump administration rolled out a new rule Thursday that seeks to make it harder for immigrant women to give birth in the U.S. — but questions remain on how exactly the controversial policy is going to be enforced.
Under the so-called “Birth Tourism Visa Regulation,” applicants will be denied documentation if consular officers determine that their primary reason for traveling to the U.S. is to give birth on American soil so their child can obtain automatic citizenship.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that the new directive is necessary to enhance “public safety, national security and the integrity of our immigration system."
However, other than physically obvious pregnancies, it’s unclear how consular officers would be able to determine whether a woman’s primary reason for traveling to the U.S. is giving birth, as they are not allowed to ask during a visa interview whether the applicant is pregnant or plans to become so.
The new policy also doesn’t change any Department of Homeland Security guidances, meaning “birth tourism” evaluations would only take place at U.S. embassies abroad, not at ports of entry.
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