Authorities Closed An Illegal Maternity Ward For Chinese Women

SAN GABRIEL (AP) — Authorities shut down a makeshift maternity clinic crammed with 10 newborns and a dozen Chinese women who paid as much as $35,000 to travel to Southern California to give birth to children who would automatically be U.S. citizens, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Police and city inspectors closed the converted home on March 8 in San Gabriel, a suburb east of Los Angeles, after the owner was repeatedly warned that it violated building codes, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported. The home had extra rooms and some closets had been converted into bathrooms.

Officials found medical supplies along with Chinese-language pamphlets on baby care. Some babies were being cared for in what used to be the kitchen. All were examined and found to be healthy, code enforcement officer Jorge Arellano Arellano said. U.S. law automatically entitles children born on U.S. soil to citizenship, and it is not illegal for pregnant women to visit the U.S. to give birth. “Once the baby’s born here they are able to go to school
here,” Arellano said.

Some Republican lawmakers have argued recently that the 14th Amendment, which grants automatic citizenship to people born on U.S. soil, should be modified to exclude children of foreign citizens.

They contend the lure of U.S. citizenship for children is promoting illegal immigration. Changing the law would curb “birth tourism” and illegalimmigration, said state Assemblyman Rim Donnelly, R-Claremont. Rep.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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