In an effort to gather evidence about three illegal “birth tourism” businesses for wealthy Chinese women, Homeland Security agents Tuesday morning raided 37 locations in Southern California.
According to affidavits unsealed Tuesday, the businesses arranged for pregnant women to come to the United States on tourist visas so that their babies would be American citizens, entitled to United States birth certificates and passports. Many Chinese families look ahead to another benefit as well: When the children turn 21, they can apply for their parents to become legal residents of the United States.
“This is still very much an ongoing investigation, coming after undercover activities that have lasted most of the last year,” said Virginia Kice, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman. “Today is just the execution of search warrants and evidence gathering. We are not anticipating any arrests right now.”
“此事在很大程度上仍在调查之中。在此之前，我们在去年的大部分时间里开展了卧底行动，”美国移民及海关执法局(Immigration and Customs Enforcement)女发言人维尔吉尼娅·凯斯(Virginia Kice)说。“今天只是执行搜查令，搜集证据。我们目前不准备逮捕任何人。”
The affidavits describe businesses that charge clients up to $60,000, arrange for their transportation, housing, and prenatal care, and obtain the birth certificates and passports for the babies before they leave the country.
The businesses caution the women to wear loose-fitting clothes, lie about the intent of their trip, and not wait too far into their pregnancy before traveling. Most women arrive two to three months before their due date, often flying, initially, to a tourist destination like Hawaii or Las Vegas, rather than the Los Angeles airport, where there is greater scrutiny.
Tuesday’s raids were in Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties.