SANTA ANA, Calif. – Following the arrests this morning of three defendants who allegedly operated “birth tourism” outfits that catered to Chinese clients, federal authorities today unsealed indictments that charge a total of 19 people linked to three schemes that operated across Southern California and charged clients tens of thousands of dollars to help them give birth in the United States.
The indictments charge operators and clients of three “maternity house” or “birthing house” schemes that were dismantled in March 2015 when federal agents executed 35 search warrants, which resulted from international undercover operations.
The 17 cases unsealed today contain the first-ever federal criminal charges brought against operators and customers of birth tourism businesses. The birth tourism operations not only committed widespread immigration fraud and engaged in international money laundering, they also defrauded property owners when leasing the apartments and houses used in their birth tourism schemes, according to the indictments.
These cases were investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles. Substantial assistance was provided by IRS Criminal Investigation, as well as the Irvine Police Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
The indictments describe birth tourism schemes in which foreign nationals, mostly from China, applied for visitor visas to come to the United States and lied about the length of their trips, where they would stay, and the purposes of their trips – which were to come to the U.S. for three months to give birth so their children would receive U.S. birthright citizenship.
“America’s way of life is not for sale,” said Joseph Macias, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Los Angeles. “HSI will aggressively target those who would make a mockery of our laws and our values to benefit and enrich themselves. No one needs to be reminded about the national security and public safety implications of visa fraud and the crimes associated with it. Anyone who would exploit our nation’s generosity and our legal immigration system should be on notice – they may end up being the ones to pay a very steep price.”
And further down:
Three indictments returned Wednesday by a federal grand jury charge the operators of large birth tourism operations based in Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Pursuant to this week’s indictments, federal authorities this morning arrested three defendants: Dongyuan Li (李冬媛), 41, of Irvine; Michael Wei Yueh Liu (刘维岳), 53, of Rancho Cucamonga; and Jing Dong (董晶), 42, of Fontana. All three are charged with conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, international money laundering and identity theft. Liu is also charged with filing three false tax returns.
As American as apple pie, right? This shit needs to stop. This was never how birthright citizenship was EVER supposed to be interpreted. It is absolutely insane it ever got this far. These firms alone have done this for thousands of babies. It is surely in the tens or hundreds of thousands if not millions for all the other birth tourism centers they haven’t cracked down on yet.
This is how it works. Whether they come here specifically to birth a child to have a US passport or they cross the border illegally, the result is the same. More than 60 million people have immigrated to the United States since the disastrous Hart-Celler Act of 1965. Along with changing the quotas of the kinds of people who could come here, it also opened the door to preferentially allowing relatives of these newcomers first, which has come to be known as chain migration. If you include chain migration and the children of those who have come here it is around 100 million people since 1965; a rather sizable portion of the population here.
It is becoming increasingly clear that we need to stop immigration altogether if we are to keep any semblance of what we see as our country intact. Stop both illegal and legal immigration. Or limit legal immigration to an insanely low number like a few thousand people a year. Increasingly they are assimilating less and less. And clearly many do not care about our laws at all. You think Jing Dong gives a shit about our laws or the wellbeing of our country?
We have been sold a lie. As Lyndon Johnson famously said of the 1965 act:
This bill we sign today is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not restructure the shape of our daily lives.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
As much as I love President Trump and what he has done for this country, it was a little bit worrying in his State of the Union address saying he wants more legal immigrants than ever. God bless him, I am sure his heart is in the right place, but it is exactly the opposite of what we need right now if we want to preserve the tattered remains of this country. But he is a civic nationalist, and strongly believes that those coming will assimilate. This hasn’t been true for decades, if ever. Close the birthright citizenship loopholes, tighten the laws, or end immigration altogether for the foreseeable future. It may be the only thing that will give this country any chance of surviving.