Jan 23, 2020

New Trump administration rule disallows use of visitor visas for "birth tourism"

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

A new Trump administration regulation that will make it harder for some pregnant women to receive tourist visas, first reported by Axios, is now in the Federal Register and will go into effect on Friday.

Why it matters: It is one of the first efforts by the Trump administration to chip away at the ability of foreigners to take advantage of birthright citizenship.

  • The regulation officially disallows the use of visitor visas for birth tourism, although it leaves the enforcement of the change up to the discretion of a consular officer.

"The most troubling effect of this regulation is likely to be on women coming to the United States to give birth because of a medical need," wrote Migration Policy Institute's Sarah Pierce on Twitter.

  • The administration had considered a much broader regulation that would have applied to foreigners trying to come to the U.S. on temporary visas who a consular officer "reasonably expects" to give birth in the U.S, according to the final rule set to publish Friday.
  • "This rule represents the most narrowly tailored regulation to mitigate the threat," the rule reads.

The big picture: Recent attempts to crack down on birth tourism have been getting attention. Hong Kong Express Airways forced a passenger to take a pregnancy test before allowing her to fly to the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands — a popular birth tourist destination, the Washington Post reported last week.

  • The government brought federal criminal charges against birth tourism businesses for the first time last year, CNN reported. Three people were arrested for conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering by running a birth tourism business catering to Chinese nationals.

Go deeper: "Birth tourism" is Trump's next immigration target

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Europe nixes Facebook's plea for friendly rules

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook is doubling down on its big pitch to lawmakers across the globe: regulate us.

Yes, but: Key regulators aren't buying it. Hours after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with lawmakers in Europe to discuss the company's new proposals for regulation, a French commissioner overseeing the EU's data strategy rejected the plan, saying "It’s not enough. It’s too slow, it’s too low in terms of responsibility and regulation."

Trump administration restricts immigration on 6 additional countries

President Trump. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration will begin deterring immigrants from Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania, the administration announced on Friday.

Why it matters: This comes three years after Trump's signature travel ban was first announced, which barred people from several Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S. The move serves as another sign of the U.S. closing its doors to immigrants under the Trump administration.

How tech leaders used Davos this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

DAVOS, Switzerland — Tech leaders once were given a free pass (literally and figuratively) as the young darlings of Davos, but they're now the established leaders, with a heightened role as well as added scrutiny.

  • While U.S.-China tensions were high on tech leaders' list, they also came to push their points on climate change, antitrust and AI regulation.
Go deeperArrowJan 25, 2020