Baby Bust: Feds Raid California 'Maternity Hotels' (MSN/NBC link): Southern California apartment complexes that doubled as "maternity hotels" for Chinese women who want made-in-America babies were raided early Tuesday, capping an unprecedented federal sting operation, officials said.
"I am doing this for the education of the next generation," one of the women told NBC News.
None of the women were arrested; they are being treated as material witnesses, and paramedics were on hand in case any of them went into labor during the sweep. Instead, the investigation was aimed at ringleaders who pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars tax-free to help Chinese nationals obtain visas and then pamper them until they delivered in an American hospital at a discount, court papers show.
"It's not necessarily illegal to come here to have the baby, but if you lie about your reasons for coming here, that's visa fraud," said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations for Los Angeles.
All told, the feds raided 20 locations in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, targeting three competing birth tourism schemes, officials said. The suspected operators have not been charged but are being questioned.
The organizers who allegedly ran the Carlyle site, Chao Chen and Dong Li, used a website to drum up business, touting the benefits of a child with U.S. citizenship: 13 years of free education, low-cost college financial aid, less pollution, and a path for the entire family to emigrate when the child becomes an adult.
A neighbor, Linda Trust, told NBC News she did find it strange that she had seen a forklift deliver a huge pile of diapers to the buildings but had never seen a baby. The women's handlers provided transportation for doctor visits and trips to restaurants and shops, the court papers say. An agent tailing one of the suspects followed them to Target and Babies R Us.
They were funneled to several Orange County hospitals to deliver, but they didn't pay full price — approximately $25,000 — for medical services, officials said. Instead, they got reduced rates for the indigent, ranging from nothing to $4,000, the court papers say. That translated into big losses for the hospitals. More than 400 babies linked to the scheme were born at just one facility in a two-year period, investigators said.
The investigators discovered that the parents of one baby born in April 2014 who paid the hospital just $4,000 were spending money at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel, Rolex and Louis Vuitton, using an account with almost a quarter of a million dollars in it.
The fraud, authorities say, went beyond the visas.
Russians Flock to Trump Properties to Give Birth to U.S. Citizens (The Daily Beast link): While the president rails against children of undocumented immigrants, wealthy Russians rent his condos—at huge costs—so they can have American kids.
Anatoliy Kuzmin held out his daughter’s blue U.S. passport over a red Russian one and snapped a photo from a Florida beach.
“Woohoo! Got dual citizenship for my daughter!” he wrote on Instagram.
American citizenship for the newborn girl was the goal of Kuzmin and his Instagram-celebrity wife, who sought the help of birth-tourism services in Florida for the arrival of their first child. They are among the estimated hundreds of Russian parents who flock to the U.S. annually for warm weather, excellent medical care, and, more importantly, birthright American citizenship.
And many, like Kuzmin and his wife, stay at President Donald Trump’s properties in Florida.
While Trump rails against U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants, his Florida properties have become a playground for birth tourists from Russia’s upper crust. The Daily Beast has discovered several companies are advertising rentals in Trump properties to expectant Russian parents.
Mod: Check the link for more. Assuming none of this is race based, perhaps Chinese nationals hoping to have a child born in the United States would fare better if they stayed at a Trump owned facility back east?