The Chinese flight to America continues. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese woman have made it to our shores. They were pregnant upon arrival with hopes of having an anchor baby. Business boomed for the brokers who handled the arrangements. Until!
Federal authorities were busy Thursday, arresting three alleged birth tourism operators who catered to Chinese people and unsealing indictments that link 19 people to schemes in Irvine, Los Angeles County and Rancho Cucamonga in San Bernardino County that made millions of dollars by helping clients give birth in the United States so those newborns are automatically American citizens.
The defendants allegedly were part of three “maternity” or “birthing” houses that were dismantled in March 2015 after federal agents executed 35 search warrants. Indictments unsealed Thursday “contain the first-ever federal criminal charges brought against operators and customers of birth tourism businesses,” according to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles.
Alleged operators are accused of having committed widespread immigration fraud, international money laundering and fraudulent leasing of apartments and houses used in birth tourism schemes, according to the indictments that are based on investigations by HSI, IRS Criminal Investigation and the Irvine Police and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s departments.
Customers were coached on how to pass the U.S. Consulate interview in China by falsely stating that they were going to stay in the U.S. for only two weeks, and pregnant women were advised to wear loose clothing to conceal their pregnancies from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry, according to the indictments, which add that clients were directed to fly from China to Hawaii instead of directly to Los Angeles because it was easier to get by CBP on the Islands.