Report: 36,000 foreign ‘birth tourists’ here to make U.S. babies
Most foreign visitors come to America to ride the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building, tour Washington’s Lincoln Memorial or feast on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.
But there are possibly 36,000 pregnant women who arrived in 2012 to give birth to a little American citizen, according to a new report.
It’s called “birth tourism” and is used by foreigners to receive U.S. citizenship for their offspring under U.S. law.
Trying to figure out the accurate numbers is nearly impossible but the Center for Immigration Studies has compared two key official U.S. survey figures of all mothers to suggest that the number is about 36,000.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 896,363 women who gave birth in 2012 indicated that they were born outside of the United States. If only 2 or 3 percent of these births were to women who are engaging in birth tourism, that would be 18,000 to 27,000 births annually. While this number would be less than 1 percent of the roughly four million annual births in the United States, the aggregate number of birth tourists babies would still be large, especially the cumulative effect over a number of years,” blogged Center for Immigration Studies research expert Steven A. Camarota.
But then he compared it to another survey, the “American Community Survey,” and came up with a potentially more accurate figure of 35,568.
The survey is designed to reflect the U.S. population as of July 1 of the year the survey was taken, so the survey is recording the number of women living in the country at mid-year who had a child in last half of the prior year and the first half of the year of the survey. In the second half of 2011 and the first half of 2012, the CDC reports 898,975 births to foreign-born mothers. The public-use file of the 2012 ACS shows that there were 863,407 foreign-born women who indicated that they had a child in the prior 12 months. The difference between these two numbers is 35,568 and implies that about 36,000 foreign-born women gave birth in the United States in the 12 months before July 1, 2012, but were no longer in the country.