Russian woman are coming to the U.S. in droves and paying big bucks to do it. But it's the reason why they're coming that's very controversial.
What’s going on?
On Wednesday, the “Today" show aired a segment highlighting a new form of immigration: pregnant Russian women coming to the U.S. to have their children here.
The practice is known as “birth tourism” or “chain immigration” and is very controversial among supporters of strict immigration laws. As the NBC News segment stated, the process is legal and protected under the 14th Amendment.
It’s also very attractive to mothers who want a better life for their children. That’s because any child born in the U.S. is automatically granted U.S. citizenship and all of its benefits. Additionally, those children can later sponsor their parents for a green card once they turn 21.
“Today” noted there are agencies that manage the entire visa process for Russian women. They find the expecting mothers temporary places to live, doctors and even help them with immigration paperwork. Many families are paying more than $50,000 for the entire process.
Most of the women flock to Miami, where there is a heavy Russian presence in many of the city’s suburban neighborhoods. “Today” also noted that many of the agencies sell lodging for one of Trump’s condo buildings in the city, which the Daily Beast first reported.
However, NBC News was clear that there is no indication President Donald Trump or the Trump organization is benefiting from birth tourism.
Here’s why many Russian women are paying big money to come to the US to give birth pic.twitter.com/0BnayGJW3V
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 10, 2018
What has Trump said about it?
As a presidential candidate, Trump said that birth tourism needs to end.
"You have to get rid of it. They're having a baby and all of a sudden — nobody knows — the baby is here. You have no choice,” he told NBC News during his campaign.
The issue has once again come alive as Trump works with lawmakers on immigration reform. According to NBC News, it is one of the key issues that lawmakers will address in a reform bill. Trump and most Republicans still want to put an end to the practice.