Birth Tourism: Is U.S. Citizenship For Sale?
By Phil Shuman
Neurosurgeon Abdallah Farukkh, who is the head of the Board at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, is no doubt a brilliant doctor, dedicated to his patients, and thinking of the future.
What he apparently wasn’t thinking of is the size of the backlash generated when he talked about the idea of expanding services at his financially troubled hospital to include cash paying maternity care for foreign, pregnant women who are here on tourist visas at the time they happen to be ready to give birth . Why ? Because if you’re born here, no matter who your parents are or where they’re from, means you’re a U.S. citizen, with all the wonderful rights we enjoy, including the right to come back here as a college student and be eligible for grants and loans.. including the right to come back here and then bring your family over legally, and etc.
The doctor says he’s simply responding to an idea floated by the City of Lancaster looking to expand it’s relationship with China, and medical care is just one aspect of it… and he’s about medical care and immigration policy is not his problem. Of course it’s not that simple… and some politicians.. particularly conservative Republicans are outraged at the idea that US Citizenship would be ”marketed like a commodity”. Dr Farrukkh says that’s not what he’s doing.. he’s just a medical provider. Okay.