New Chinese Export: Babies

Wealthy Chinese are increasingly sending pregnant mothers to the U.S. so their infants will have the right to U.S. citizenship.

China Daily News says operators charge about $15,000 to pay for the trip and medical care. It avoids hiring a coyote and sneaking across a river.

Looking at visa rules, questions are asked about medical health and sometimes applicants are required to get an independent medical exam. Hard to believe a six- or seven-month pregnant woman wouldn't be obvious to a consular officer. There is no immediately available evidence of visas being denied for that reason.

"Given the quality of educational resources and employment prospects in China, where there is a huge population and harsh competition, I want my baby to win at the starting line by obtaining U.S. citizenship," said Wang Rong.

Such transactions are increasing pressure to amend the 14th amendment to deny automatic citizenship to anyone born on U.S. territory. Arizona Republicans plan to pass a law challenging the right of jus soli, or birthright citizenship.

"The number of mainland customers has been skyrocketing since we opened the branch in late 2008, right after the US opened tourist visa applications to Chinese individuals," said Jiang Feng, partner of a China-based agency that began operations in Taiwan.

Included with the medical expenses is training on how to obtain visas and how to deal with U.S. immigration and customs interviews.

If a visa isn't long enough to allow the birth to take place U.S. lawyers who are experts in extending visas are brought in.

The China Daily said it at least 400,000 babies from other countries are born each year in the U.S. despite the fact that their parents are not U.S. citizens or legal residents.