News / USA

California Cities Crack Down on Unlicensed Maternity Hotels

California Cities Crack Down on Unlicensed Maternity Hotelsi
X
March 28, 2013 11:06 PM
Unlicensed maternity hotels that cater to women from Asia have sprung up around the United States, especially in California. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles that local officials are cracking down on the maternity hotels, which offer the promise of US citizenship to newborn babies
Mike O'Sullivan
Unlicensed maternity clinics that cater to women from Asia have sprung up around the United States, especially in California.  Local officials are cracking down on the maternity hotels, which offer the promise of U.S. citizenship to newborn babies.

In the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park, an unlicensed maternity clinic was forced to close recently.  The large home in a residential neighborhood had diapers, clothing and baby supplies sitting in the driveway.  The house was one of many in California that advertises online for pregnant women in Asia who want their children born in the United States.  Under the U.S. Constitution, that makes the child a U.S. citizen.

It is called birth tourism, and while it is not the intent of the law, it's not illegal, says immigration policy expert Karthick Ramakrishnan of the University of California, Riverside.

“The U.S. could pass a law saying that they will not admit someone in the country if their intent is to have a child in the United States.  Right now, there is no law that explicitly says that," said Ramakrishnan.

Local officials say these maternity hotels are unlicensed and illegal in residential neighborhoods.  Women from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea pay from $10,000 to more than $20,000 for their maternity stay.  Local authorities in Chino Hills, near Los Angeles, have been cracking down on one alleged maternity hotel in a hillside neighborhood.

Attorney Rosanna Mitchell heads a group of residents who complained to city officials.  

“They saw a lot of luxury cars coming in and out of here.  They also saw seven to eight pregnant women walking down this driveway," said Mitchell.

Local officials say the 17-room home housed up to 30 women, with inadequate sanitation or safety facilities.

Many California cities are ethnically diverse, with many immigrants from Asia and other parts of the world, and Chinese-American Lou Alfonso says the controversy in his city is causing racial divisions.

“Because there are honest and peace-loving residents of the American Chinese community in Chino Hills who are very much against these maternity hotels, and because of the emotion, there's a tendency to generalize," said Alfonso.

Wai-Min Liu of the Chinese American Association of Chino Hills wants the unlicensed clinics closed.

“We feel very bad about this kind of operation, and we sure hope the government does something about it," said Liu.

It is unclear how many maternity hotels are operating around the United States, but local activists count more than a dozen near Chino Hills alone, and others are thought to operate in different sections of Los Angeles.  Some here hope that Congress will clarify the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which grants U.S. citizenship to all born in the country, to prevent the birth tourism that local officials say is spreading.

You May Like

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Tour Will Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

US secretary of state to visit 5 countries in the Middle East, South Asia in bid to strengthen economic and security ties, ease concerns over deal with Tehran More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
March 29, 2013 1:24 AM
I wonder who operate these kind of maternity hotels for foreign nationals.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs