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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Wednesday, January 29, 2020


 John Kemp

The Trump administration is facing a backlash against its plans to introduce new visa rules to restrict “birth tourism” – women and families traveling to the United States with the aim of having children there for US citizenship to attain for their infants.
According to the new regulations, which are expected to take effect on Friday, women who believe they are pregnant will need to demonstrate that they have a valid reason to travel to the United States, the Associated Press said.
Pregnant women are denied a tourist visa unless they can show that they have valid medical reasons to travel to the United States and to cover related costs.
While the Trump administration has made it clear that consular officials would not ask all women of childbearing age whether they are pregnant or have plans to become pregnant, the officials say AP is allowed to interview female applicants, “reason to believe that the complainant is pregnant and is expected to give birth in the United States “
Under the new rules, information such as the appearance of pregnancy or the indication of “medical treatment” as a reason for a trip to the USA could give rise to questions.
While the rule does not apply to travelers from 39 predominantly European and Asian countries participating in the U.S. Visa Waiver program, which allows citizens of participating countries to travel to America without a visa, this affects those who “B” apply. Class visas that enable short-term business or vacation stays.
While the Trump administration has defended the policy change as a crucial step in addressing a gap in constitutional protection of “birthright citizenship,” health advocates have condemned the rules as a new form of government-enforced “racial profiling.”
“As someone with the identity of a doctor, a colored woman, and a first-generation American, I am angry and horrified by this recent travel ban,” said Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, a gynecologist and board member at Doctors for Reproductive Health, said at a press briefing on Monday.
“This travel ban is the very definition of discrimination. After caring for thousands of pregnant people, I know firsthand that pregnancy is not a national security threat,” said Moayedi. “The childbearing age is not a national security threat. Babies are not a national security threat.”
“It is not only unfounded, but also dehumanizing that our communities are trying to give birth to our children in this country to raise them to harm the Americans,” she said. “Pregnancy is never a reason to deny someone entry to a country. Pregnancy is only a concern of the pregnant person and, if they so wish, their family and healthcare providers.”
“The long line of attacks on immigrants has created a culture of fear and has often prevented people from accessing medical care when needed,” added Moayedi. “I urge everyone, especially healthcare providers, to speak out against this rule.”
An expectant mother shows her four-month pregnant belly at the ‘FM4 Paso Libre’ shelter, an organization that provides shelter, food and legal advice to migrants during their stay in Guadalajara, Mexico on August 10, 2018. Trump’s administration is underway to establish new rules to prevent pregnant women and families from being given “first birth” rights by children in the United States
Dorianne Mason, director of health justice at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), also accused the government of “doing nothing but pregnancy and punishing women”.
“It’s a violation of women’s privacy that creates potentially insurmountable barriers to life-saving care,” Mason said. “As with many of the government’s policies, the burden will be greatest for immigrant migrants. They again signal that you are not welcome here if you are too brown, too black, or too poor.”
“Women and girls have the right to dignity, autonomy and a life free of discrimination,” she said. “Pregnancies or possible pregnancies should not be combated with weapons to keep people away from this country. We condemn this obnoxious regulation of the female body.”
Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, the managing director and CEO of MomsRising.org, agreed with Mason: “Pregnant women are already subject to indescribable discrimination in our workplaces and in our society. Trump’s new rule would discriminate during pregnancy by transforming our government into a discrimination codify reproduction police who invade privacy and attack the dignity of women who want to enter the United States. “
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