Crime: Some birth tourism operators prosecuted, others still woo pregnant women to Southern California - PressFrom - US
  •   
  •   
  •   

Crime Some birth tourism operators prosecuted, others still woo pregnant women to Southern California

21:16  22 september  2019
21:16  22 september  2019 Source:   dailynews.com

Bales of marijuana found on Southern California coast

Bales of marijuana found on Southern California coast MALIBU, Calif. (AP) — A report of a boat beached on the Southern California coast led to discovery of 41 bales of marijuana during the weekend. The Ventura County Sheriff's Office says the report came in shortly before dawn Saturday and deputies found a 35-foot (10.6-meter) panga boat on the shore below Pacific Coast Highway between Malibu and Point Mugu. In addition to 577 pounds (262 kilograms) of marijuana, investigators found 37 large containers filled with gasoline in the boat, floating in the water and on the beach. (Ventura County Sheriff's Office via AP) 2/3 SLIDES © Provided by The Associated Press This Saturday, Sept.

Three people who operated multimillion-dollar birth - tourism businesses in Southern California were arrested Thursday in the biggest federal criminal probe ever to target the thriving industry, in which pregnant women come to the United States to give birth so their children will become American

Chinese women travel to Southern California to give birth to babies who automatically became More than a dozen others have also been charged in cases stemming from three so-called birth The businesses allegedly billed Chinese women thousands of dollars to travel to California to deliver their

Dongyuan Li already had a child, born in China, but she wanted her next baby to be an American citizen.

a group of people walking down a street: Federal agents enter the Carlyle Apartments complex on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Irvine, Calif. Shortly after sunrise, federal agents swarmed the complex in Orange County, where authorities said a birth tourism company operated. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)© Provided by MediaNews Group d/b/a Digital First Media Federal agents enter the Carlyle Apartments complex on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Irvine, Calif. Shortly after sunrise, federal agents swarmed the complex in Orange County, where authorities said a birth tourism company operated. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

So about six years ago she traveled to the United States through a tour package that arranged for her housing, meals and hospital stay. She delivered twins. And she was so impressed with the business model that she stayed on to make money off it, teaming up with the owner to turn “You Win USA Vacation Resort” into a thriving player in the growing industry known as birth tourism.

Texas officials flag over 1,000 birth records for potential fraud

  Texas officials flag over 1,000 birth records for potential fraud AUSTIN — A Brownsville woman who had a Texas driver license for over a decade was denied a new one in 2017 — and again last month — when the state suddenly raised suspicions that her birth certificate is fraudulent and questioned whether she is really a U.S. citizen. © Suzanne Rehak /For The ChronicleFrom left, two customers fill out renewal and change of address forms at a Texas Department of Public Safety Drivers License Mega Center in Rosenberg. Suzanne Rehak/For the Houston ChronicleLorena Flores, born in 1984, is now suing, saying she was given no way to contest the ruling and wasn’t shown the evidence against her.

Largest-ever crackdown on ' birth tourism ' businesses which bring pregnant Chinese women into the U.S. to More than a dozen other suspects living in China have been charged in cases stemming from three It marks the first time the United States has criminally prosecuted birth tourism operators .

After allegedly helping thousands of pregnant Chinese women come to Southern California to give birth to American citizen children, three operators of Their visits typically ended soon after they gave birth in Southern California . The 2015 investigation prompted federal agencies to arrest and later

On Tuesday, Sept. 17, Li plead guilty to federal criminal charges, becoming the first birth tourism operator to face possible prison time for crimes related to the controversial industry. But while her company has gone away, along with two others the feds busted in 2015, the industry itself has not.

Companies, often advertising in China or on Chinese-language web sites, continue to recruit well-to-do pregnant clients from outside the country, with promises that giving birth in the United States means citizenship for their babies and that American citizenship comes with tons of benefits, including free public education and potential access to the country’s universities, medical care and, down the road, Social Security.

Texas officials flag over 1,000 birth records for potential fraud

  Texas officials flag over 1,000 birth records for potential fraud Armed with a petition with nearly 50,000 signatuers, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will again call on District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to reopen old cases overseen by Linda Fairstein, the former NYC prosecutor who worked on the infamous Central Park Five case.

Operators of three California ' birth tourism ' businesses with names like You Win USA and Star Baby Care It marks the first time the United States has criminally prosecuted birth tourism operators . Three birth tourism businesses allegedly billed pregnant Chinese women as much as 0,000 to

20 charged in California in crackdown on ' birth tourism ' for expectant mothers from China. While the business is legal in China, teaching expectant In this 2015 file photo, federal agents enter an upscale apartment complex where authorities say a birth tourism business charged pregnant women

And local residents have noticed. People in some Southern California neighborhoods see the vans that take groups of pregnant women to the mall. They hear and smell the carts topped with meals that roll down hallways to deliver food from condo to condo. They notice pregnant tenants staying only a few weeks to a few months, only to be replaced over time by a new cycle of pregnant tenants.

“My agents are still receiving complaints all the time that this continues in Orange County, L.A. County and to a lesser extent, the Inland Empire,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Pell said in a phone interview.

Still, the business itself is not illegal – not as long as the visitors don’t lie to federal officials or commit fraud.

“As long as U.S. birthright citizenship is a right, it’s not illegal,” Pell said. “The State Department takes the position it will issue a visa to give birth. You just have to be truthful about it. That then generates other questions: ‘Where are you going to stay? How are you going to pay for it?’

Transgender Man Who Gave Birth Loses Battle to Register as Child's Father

  Transgender Man Who Gave Birth Loses Battle to Register as Child's Father The United Kingdom’s High Court ruled on Wednesday that a transgender man who gave birth must register as the baby’s mother, even though he has “full legal recognition as male.” © Theo Wargo/Getty Freddy McConnell Freddy McConnell, who was born female, became pregnant using a sperm donor in 2017 and gave birth in 2018 — after he transitioned to become a man and was legally recognized as such, CNN reported. However, the Registrar General argued that McConnell must register as the child’s mother in accordance with British law, which prompted him to take legal action.

that operated in southern California which catered to wealthy women from China looking to have so-called birth tourism businesses that prosecutors said brought hundreds of pregnant women to More than a dozen others , including the operator of a third such business, also face charges but are

Nineteen people have been charged in three " birth tourism " schemes that operated in Southern California to bring pregnant Chinese women into The 17 cases unsealed on Thursday are the first federal charges brought against operators and customers of birth tourism businesses, the Justice

“This is not targeting people who are coming here to give birth,” Pell added, referring to the legal crackdown. “It’s about people who come here after lying on their visa application, and not having the financial wherewithal to pay for the hospital bill.”

Meanwhile, birthright citizenship – or the right of instant citizenship afforded to any baby born on American soil or to American parents on foreign soil – continues to come under scrutiny.

President Donald Trump, among others, has called the right, guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, “ridiculous” and has said he’d like to abolish it, possibly by executive order.  Many constitutional scholars, however, note that the bar to change the constitution is high and an executive order won’t cut it.

Raids

In the early morning hours of March 3, 2015, about 200 federal agents raided some 35 condos, apartments and homes across three counties – Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino. They seized records and interviewed women who arrived on tourist visas but stayed to deliver babies. It was, and remains, the biggest federal criminal probe into the birth tourism industry.

Tiffany Roberts: Murder charges dropped for mom charged in twin deaths

  Tiffany Roberts: Murder charges dropped for mom charged in twin deaths Murder charges were dropped against the Chattanooga mom who was charged in her premature twins death after they died with drugs in their systems.Tiffany Marie Roberts, who prematurely delivered on July 21, had been charged with first degree murder, viable fetus as victim, and aggravated child abuse or neglect.

Federal agents stormed 37 locations in Southern California early Tuesday, gathering evidence about what they say are three illegal “ birth tourism ” businesses for wealthy Chinese women . According to affidavits unsealed Tuesday

A woman who ran a California “ birth tourism ” business that charged Chinese clients tens of thousands of dollars to help them give birth in The Orange County-based “ birth tourism ” business catered to wealthy pregnant clients as well as Chinese government officials and coached pregnant

This past January, the U.S. Department of Justice unveiled indictments against 19 people, including tour operators and their clients. Most of those defendants, however, had already fled the country. Li, one of the operators of the “You Win” agency, lived in Irvine and was arrested. So were Michael Wei Yueh Liu, of Rancho Cucamonga, and his wife, Jing Dong, who operated a San Bernardino-based company called “USA Happy Baby Inc.”  Liu and Dong face trial in February.

Meanwhile, former Irvine resident Wen Rui Deng, who ran “Star Baby Care” fled prior to his indictment. His agency is described by government officials as “the largest birth tourism scheme in the U.S.”

The companies coached pregnant women on what to do and what to say to get through U.S. Customs without admitting the true intent of their travels.  Women were advised to wear lose clothing, for example, and to travel through ports of entry where they would get less scrutiny – say Hawaii versus Los Angeles.

Once in the U.S. – and Southern California is a favorite destination – the women lived in houses, apartments and condos, sometimes called “maternity hotels,” where all their needs were fulfilled. The tour packages came with a hefty price tag, typically from $40,000 to $100,000, and some included day trips to South Coast Plaza, Beverly Hills and Disneyland.

ACLU files complaint against returning pregnant asylum-seekers to Mexico

  ACLU files complaint against returning pregnant asylum-seekers to Mexico The complaint called for a full investigation and "immediate end" to the practice of returning pregnant asylum-seekers to Mexico.The Department of Homeland Security "has returned a significant number of pregnant women to Mexico … exposing them to further harm" in dangerous border towns, the ACLU of Texas and the ACLU Border Rights Center said in a complaint Thursday. The complaint, filed to the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General, called for a full investigation and immediate end to the practice.

The largest-ever crackdown on ‘ birth tourism ’ businesses that help Chinese women travel to the United States to deliver ‘anchor babies’ has resulted in Many of the suspects believed to be currently living in China, and the crackdown marks the first time the United States has criminally prosecuted

Despite a recent crackdown on " birth tourism " centers in California , there are plenty of reasons for pregnant Chinese women to want to give These companies, which allow Chinese women to give birth in the United States for a fee, were hit with charges including visa fraud, tax evasion, and willful

The 2015 raids targeted multiple dwellings in Rancho Cucamonga, Rowland Heights and Walnut, as well as apartments and homes in Irvine and Mission Viejo.

One of the largest targets was the Carlyle Apartments in Irvine, where the “You Win USA” agency housed women, some of them with their mothers, husbands and older children.

Dongyuan Li

Li’s “You Win USA” website described the U.S. as “the most attractive nationality” and claimed to have served more than 500 birth tourism customers in about eight years.

Li had lived in Irvine with her four children: a teenager who was going to high school and was born in China, and three young children born in the U.S. During a court hearing in March, her twins were listed as five years old and a baby son was 21 months old. Li’s elderly mother also lived with them.

Li has remained in jail since her arrest, and her attorneys’ requests to release her on bond was denied because she was cited a flight risk.

On Tuesday, Sept. 17, Li plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and one count of visa fraud. As part of her plea agreement, she agreed to forfeit more than $850,000, a residence in Murrieta worth more than $500,000 and several Mercedes-Benz cars. She is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 16 and faces a maximum of 15 years in federal prison.

Meanwhile, her husband, Qiang Yan, was indicted last December on three counts of visa fraud for filing an application for an “O” visa – granted to those with “extraordinary ability” – because he falsely claimed that he had co-authored two books, which didn’t exist, officials said. During an interview with agents, conducted as his Irvine home was being searched, he told officials that his investment in the birth tourism business was “chump change” because he had more than $10 million in bank accounts in China, according to court documents.

U.S. FAA requiring inspections for cracks on some 737 NG planes

  U.S. FAA requiring inspections for cracks on some 737 NG planes U.S. FAA requiring inspections for cracks on some 737 NG planes

Three people were arrested in Southern California on charges including conspiracy, visa It is the first time the United States has criminally prosecuted birth tourism operators , said Thom Mrozek One business allegedly coached women to tell consular officials they planned to visit a Trump hotel in

Three people were arrested in Southern California on charges including conspiracy, visa fraud and It is the first time the United States has criminally prosecuted birth tourism operators , said The businesses – which were raided by federal agents in 2015 – billed Chinese women tens of thousands

Yan fled the country and did not return for the birth of his youngest son.

At the time of Li’s arrest, her twins were in China, and her Chinese-born daughter and infant son remained in the U.S. It’s unclear where her children live now.

Li’s attorneys did not return requests for comment. In court documents, Los Angeles attorney David Carroll called Li’s partner, Chao Chen, “the ringleader of the supposed birthing-house scheme that our client allegedly participated in.”

Chen pleaded guilty to visa fraud, marriage fraud and tax fraud but left the country before he could be sentenced. Last December, he was charged with contempt of court for fleeing the U.S. while his sentencing was pending.

The only other case related to the 2015 raids to end in criminal charges involved Ken Z. Liang, a former attorney who lived in Irvine. Liang, who pleaded not guilty, was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for helping witnesses flee to China and was disbarred.

Unpaid bills

The cases against the tour operators and some of their clients go beyond tricking the government, said Pell, of the U.S. Attorney’s Santa Ana branch office.

“Some were defrauding the apartment owners and hospitals,” he said.

Pell said he’s hopeful the raids and subsequent criminal prosecutions will send a message that the government takes such cases seriously.

Because it’s difficult to monitor the industry, there’s “no way of knowing how this case might have affected the prevalence of birth tourism,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for lower immigration levels.

“I suspect it has not subsided, and that the effect is only to make them more careful and less brazen,” she said Friday.

“That doesn’t mean the investigation was pointless. On the contrary, it was a good thing to do to bring them to justice and to raise awareness of the problem. Now, we need a more a sustained effort to crack down on these rings,” she said.

Saudi Arabia trying to entice Western tourists, including women

  Saudi Arabia trying to entice Western tourists, including women Forget the culture clash, tourists are ready to rock the casbah. After decades of limited access, Saudi Arabia is finally welcoming vacationers to the oil-rich nation. In a bid to coax visitors to the Middle East country, where women traditionally have been treated as inferior to men, the Saudi tourism board will place no restrictions on unaccompanied females, according to Reuters. Recently, Saudi Arabia has curtailed some of its more stringent social policies, such as segregating the sexes and mandatory wearing of abayas — body-covering robes — for women.

The largest-ever crackdown on ' birth tourism ' businesses that help Chinese women travel to the United States to deliver 'anchor babies' has resulted in Many of the suspects believed to be currently living in China, and the crackdown marks the first time the United States has criminally prosecuted

Leo Chavez, a UC Irvine professor who specializes on migration issues, said cases of potential fraud should be investigated and the guilty punished, but that shouldn’t lead to a move against birthright citizenship, which grants automatic U.S. citizenship.

“There may be a few who take advantage of it but that’s a small proportion. We shouldn’t lose sight that birthright citizenship makes us a great nation,” said Chavez, whose most recent book is “Anchor Babies and the Challenge of Birthright Citizenship.”

Meanwhile, when asked if any other raids are in the works, prosecutor Pell declined comment.

Related links

  • Why do Chinese mothers look to Southern California, specifically Irvine, for birth tourism? It’s more than just baby’s U.S. citizenship
  • Birth tourism raids spark debate about citizenship, the 14th Amendment
  • Birth tourism case hits new stage, with criminal complaints filed against Chinese citizens
  • ‘Birth tourism’ investigation: Expectant moms from China not backing down, still want U.S. babies
  • Federal agents charge 19 for birth tourism in Southern California, say practice poses national threat

Saudi Arabia trying to entice Western tourists, including women .
Forget the culture clash, tourists are ready to rock the casbah. After decades of limited access, Saudi Arabia is finally welcoming vacationers to the oil-rich nation. In a bid to coax visitors to the Middle East country, where women traditionally have been treated as inferior to men, the Saudi tourism board will place no restrictions on unaccompanied females, according to Reuters. Recently, Saudi Arabia has curtailed some of its more stringent social policies, such as segregating the sexes and mandatory wearing of abayas — body-covering robes — for women.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 4
This is interesting!