Leave it to the Chinese. Just when you thought the "anchor babies" debate couldn't get any more muddled, the country known for a completely screwed up approach to family planning has added the most contemptible of WTF scenarios.
How else would you describe birth tourism? Two words guaranteed to make your head spin?
According to one report, there are "no reliable numbers on the numbers of mothers taking advantage of birth tourism packages, but dozens of firms in China advertise 'birth tourism' packages online, many of them based in Shanghai."
This version of giving birth in the U.S. for a passport has nothing to do with a better life or the American dream or anything you might have seen in that movie about the mouse who thinks the streets are paved with cheese.
These rich snobs don't need anything from the states at all. But they have the means to hop a flight across an ocean when it's time to push, and they figure eh, what the heck. These ladies are pushing for the status symbol: a cutesy wootsy little blue book with their kid's picture and a big ol' U.S. State Department stamp. That's all they want. Not actual benefits of citizenship like elementary school education. They don't even plan to have their kids live here. They just want the passport.
Congratulations, Moms! You have made a mockery of the entire American debate over the right babies born in the U.S. have to claim citizenship.
At the heart of it, those of us who support allowing babies (not coming here on a first class ticket) born here to stay know it isn't their fault their mothers were doing something illegal when they came to this country to give birth. We're also aware of what these children will be returned to if the state department turns its back on them: poverty, poverty, and more poverty. Generally a fiscal conservative despite my social liberalism, even I can't look at a little baby and say, "Yeah, send him back to a place where he'll be drinking water laced with human excrement."
But this just blows the whole argument out of the water.
Just one doing it for the fun of it is too much.
We'd ridicule a mother who got pregnant simply so she could dress a baby up in cute little outfits (yes, it's a side benefit, but not THE benefit). This falls on the same level of ridiculous. Babies aren't toys, and citizenship is not a game.
Image via jronaldlee/Flickr