In particular, local interpretations of birth tourism as "immigration loopholes" in southern California highlight the nexus of reproduction, citizenship regimes, and racial formations--a nexus that brings historical xenophobia against especially the Chinese to the forefront (Lee, 2002).
The first provides context on the practice of birth tourism and situates its emergence within southern California's racialized history and landscape.
Usually considered a form of medical tourism, birth tourism (or "maternity tourism"/ "maternity migrations") describes the practice where pregnant women cross international borders to receive maternity care and give birth (Connell, 2013; Roberts and ScheperHughes, 2011).
In southern California, birth tourism has become a lightning rod in state-wide fights over "illegal immigration", where anti-immigration politicians and activists have argued that the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.
Most reports of Chinese birth tourism have emerged from San Gabriel Valley, a suburban region of nearly 400 square miles that stretches from the east of Los Angeles all the way to the Inland Empire, bracketed by the San Gabriel Mountains to the north and Orange County to the south.
Asian birth tourism is actually a blessing for America.
In effect, birth tourism allows America to outsource some of its childrearing, resulting in enormous savings.
The American Embassy in Lebanon says it does not consider birth tourism an issue of concern.
A previously confidential report by the governmental agency Citizen and Immigration Canada which surfaced last week listed recommendations to help curb birth tourism and ensure newborns "have a strong connection to Canada" throughout their lives and have at least one parent who is a citizen or permanent resident.
Even without legislation and restrictions, the difficulty of obtaining a tourist visa combined with the high cost of travel, accommodation and hospital bills mean birth tourism is only a viable option for a select number of people.
Lifting of travel visas requirements for Taiwanese will undoubtedly ease the challenges to birth tourism and add to US immigration problem," writes Tyler Grant, a 2012-2013 Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan.
Increasing birth tourism and a larger number of individuals returning to Taiwan to take advantage of affordable medical insurance and low medical costs will raise insurance premiums for all Taiwanese, increase the number of citizens who return to Taiwan to claim cheaper health insurance and put a heavier burden on US taxpayers for public schools.
Meanwhile, birth tourism may be on the rise, with the US-based Center for Immigration Studies estimating that of the more than 300,000 children born to undocumented residents in the United States every year, 40,000 are to tourists.
Lifting travel-visa requirements for Taiwanese will undoubtedly ease the challenges to birth tourism and add to the US immigration problem.
Creating greater economic security rather than sending jobs to Mainland China, the United States or Canada - at least the perception of security - could reduce birth tourism somewhat and retain workers in Taiwan.