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World Trump administration to restrict visas for pregnant women traveling to give birth

06:00  24 january  2020
06:00  24 january  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Airline demands female passenger, 25, takes a pregnancy test before boarding flight from Hong Kong to US island of Saipan over immigration concerns

  Airline demands female passenger, 25, takes a pregnancy test before boarding flight from Hong Kong to US island of Saipan over immigration concerns Midori Nishida was travelling from Hong Kong to the US island of Saipan to visit her parents when she was asked by staff at Hong Kong Express Airways to prove she was not pregnant.Midori Nishida was travelling from Hong Kong to Saipan to visit her parents when she was asked by staff at Hong Kong Express Airways to prove she was not pregnant as part of a 'fit-to-fly' assessment.

The Trump administration grants visa officers more power to block pregnant women from visiting the United States if applicants are believed to be traveling to give birth . A new State Department rule would give consular officers the ability to deny pregnant women visas to the United States.Credit

The Trump administration grants visa officers more power to block pregnant women from visiting the United States if applicants are believed to be traveling to give birth . A new State Department rule would give consular officers the ability to deny pregnant women visas to the United States.Credit

The Trump administration will implement new plans this week that could limit travel for pregnant women coming to the United States to give birth, according to vetting guidelines released Thursday morning.

Consular officers around the world will have more power starting on Friday to deny applications for women they believe are traveling for the "primary purpose" of giving birth.

Pregnant woman tourist waiting at the airport hall with suitcase © Getty Pregnant woman tourist waiting at the airport hall with suitcase

The changes aim to crack down on what the administration calls "birth tourism" and impact those applying for temporary visas to travel for business and vacation. Officers, however, have been instructed not to ask an applicant if she is pregnant unless her stated reasons for travel raises the question first.

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The Trump administration unveiled a new rule on Thursday that would place visa restrictions on pregnant travelers who may give birth in the However, foreigners who are traveling to the US for medical treatment will be subject to more scrutiny and face significant hurdles in obtaining a tourist visa .

The Trump administration has published new visa rules aimed at restricting pregnant women travelling to the United States to give birth so their children can have US citizenship, a practice known as “ birth tourism”. Applicants will be denied tourist visas if they are determined by consular officers to

For example, one State Department official said questions about whether or not the applicant is seeking medical care could lead to questions about pregnancy.

"Closing this glaring immigration loophole will combat these endemic abuses and ultimately protect the United States from the national security risks created by this practice," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement on Thursday.

When speaking to reporters following the announcement, State Department officials could not point to specific examples of national security threats linked to "birth tourism."

One official described a "growing trend" of women stating they were traveling to give birth, but acknowledged that the department does not maintain an official count.

Hong Kong airline apologises for making woman take pregnancy test before flight to Saipan

  Hong Kong airline apologises for making woman take pregnancy test before flight to Saipan Hong Kong Express Airways apologises after forcing a passenger to take a pregnancy test before she boarded a flight to the US territory of Northern Mariana Island, which has become a popular destination for so-called 'birth tourism'.Japanese citizen Midori Nishida, 25, was flying with Hong Kong Express Airways to the island of Saipan, which is part of the Northern Mariana Island, last November when staff required her to take a "fit to fly" assessment.

' Birth Tourism'The Trump administration grants visa officers more power to block pregnant women from visiting the United States if applicants are believed to be traveling to give birth .WASHINGTON - The State Department on Thursday moved to empower its visa officers to block pregnant women

The Trump administration is coming out with new visa restrictions aimed at restricting “ birth tourism”, in which women travel to the US to give birth so their children can have a coveted US passport. The rules would make it more difficult for pregnant women to travel on a tourist visa .

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Trump administration officials have already considered changing citizenship rights for those born in the country. In 2018, Trump himself vowed to end birthright citizenship through an executive order.

His comments were met with push back from lawmakers at the time.

a close up of a piece of paper: A passport is seen in this stock photo. © STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images A passport is seen in this stock photo. "This rule is yet another attempt by the administration to control women’s bodies, driven by racist and misogynist assumptions about women born outside of the United States," said Shilpa Phadke, a vice president at the Center for American Progress -- a liberal policy think-tank.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been working with the State Department to plan enforcement measures for the new restrictions, acting ICE Director Matthew Albence told reporters Thursday.

"I think it’s a big problem," Albence said, although the agency didn't immediately provide information on the scope of fraudulent visa use related to pregnancy.

ICE does not typically share specific details regarding investigations, but agency investigators in California have been put on alert and investigative practices will be adjusted to enforce the new policy, an agency official told ABC News.

"If we can solve or at least address a large part of this problem by changing a regulatory process or rules that [the State Department] employs it only makes good sense," Albence said

Agents may look into a suspect’s financial transactions and hospital records and often work with commercial airlines as part of the agency’s standard investigative procedures for rooting out fraud cases, including "birth tourism."

"We will certainly continue to vigorously prosecute and investigate those cases that fall under our purview," Albence said.

In a case last year, federal prosecutors indicted 19 people for charging victims thousands of dollars with the promise of getting them to the United States to give birth.

The defendants were charged with defrauding their victims and laundering money following an ICE investigation. 

Pregnant woman caught 'driving three times over' legal limit .
A pregnant woman has been arrested in the Northern Territory for high range drink-driving. A pregnant woman has been arrested in the Northern Territory Northern Watch Commander Len Turner said the woman blew a reading of 0.165 and was also allegedly driving an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle."At about 3.20 this morning, a pregnant 29-year-old woman was arrested in Katherine," Cmdr Turner said.The woman's father-in-law, a 45-year-old man, was also in the car with her.Officers transported the woman to the police station.

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