Friday, October 28, 2011

Slightly Controversial - Instant US Citizenship

So yeah, this was on the Today show yesterday and I found it really interesting - they're calling it "birth tourism." (An article on the matter can be found here) I don't really focus on "heavy" topics here on the blog, but this issue really sparked my interest and it's my blog so I'll do what I want.

Essentially there are some super wealthy women in other countries (the article focuses on Chinese women) who are paying THOUSANDS of dollars to come to the US, have their baby, then once the baby gets a US birth certificate, they go back to their native country.  In essence, they are buying instant US Citizenship for their children.

These women are spending upwards of $30,000 between medical costs and paying these new companies that basically give them a place to stay and help them navigate everything in order to get the birth certificate. $30,000!!!! Then, apparently, on top of that they totally get their shop on while there here, spending even more money.  So, the owners of the companies helping these women are claiming this is a good thing to do because it's helping our economy.

I can appreciate that.  And honestly, when I initially heard them discussing the matter, I was kinda like, what's the big deal?  America is awesome, who wouldn't want to be an American citizen.  But the more I think about it, the more it doesn't sit well with me.

I really just don't appreciate people cheating the system.  This is a segment from the article I mentioned above:

"She said that she hopes her newborn daughter, Emily, will return to the United States to attend high school and college.  When Emily is 21, she could apply for her parents to become legal residents in America."

I didn't even realize that the child could eventually help their parents get legal residency!  So, not only will their child have citizenship, if they choose, they can come back as legal residents in a few years.

But the way that the "birth centers" are operating is what really bothers me.  Again, a quote from the article:

"Some of the Web sites blatantly advertise the advantages of free public school in America, a chance to get grants to colleges like Harvard and Yale, and an easier path for the whole family to get green cards once the child turns 21."

That kinda makes me wanna vomit.  I just feel like they're sorta stealing from "real" citizens.  People who have lived (and paid taxes) in the US their whole life.

But, I can appreciate the fact that on a long list of issues this country is facing, even just focusing on immigration issues, this isn't really a huge deal just because there aren't that many families that are doing this.  If it starts growing though, I really think it could be a problem.

What do you think?  Does it bother you, or are you in the "who cares" camp?

Until next time...

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