So-called “anchor babies” and “chain migration” are major pet peeves of President Donald Trump, but it isn’t just undocumented immigrants flocking to the United States to give birth.
According to Bloomberg News, Russian mothers-to-be are heading to Florida in growing numbers, despite factors like the “weakness of the ruble, the tense relations between Russia and the U.S., the hurdles that have to be scaled to get a visa.”
And as much as Trump is no fan, there is nothing illegal in what these women are doing.
What they are doing is completely legal, as long as they don't lie on any immigration or insurance paperwork. In fact, it's protected by the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says anyone born on American soil is automatically a citizen.
The child gets a lifelong right to live and work and collect benefits in the U.S. And when they turn 21 they can sponsor their parents' application for an American green card.
Trump has called birthright citizenship the "biggest magnet for illegal immigration” — but it’s also a magnet for legal immigration.
Oddly enough, many of the wealthy Russian women coming to Miami to give birth stay in Trump’s very own property, NBC noted.
In a twist, as the Daily Beast first reported, condo buildings that bear the Trump name are the most popular for the out-of-town obstetric patients, although the units are subleased from the individual owners and it's not clear if building management is aware.
There is no indication that Trump or the Trump Organization is profiting directly from birth tourism; the company and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.
Women from countries other than Russia tend to gravitate toward cities other than Miami, the Bloomberg report said:
Data are scarce, but the Center for Immigration Studies has estimated more than 30,000 women tap it every year. Some nationalities prefer certain metropolitan areas, with the Chinese, for instance, favoring Los Angeles, while Nigerians tend to choose cities in the Northeast and Texas. For women with roots in the former Soviet Union, it’s Miami; if they’re affluent, it’s Sunny Isles Beach, called Little Russia because so many of its 22,000 residents hail from that part of the world.
Though none of the women who spoke with Bloomberg necessarily complained about the U.S. citizenship bestowed upon their children at birth or the potential to one day be sponsored themselves, some insisted it was not the impetus for their decision.
[T]o many of the Russians in Sunny Isles, at least, this idea sounded unappealing. The biggest deterrent: They’d have to start paying personal income taxes that are more than double what they are in Russia. “There’s this feeling among some that it’s cool to be a U.S. citizen,” said Victoria Parshkova, who had a son in September. “It’s not cool at all.”