ICE Raids 20 ‘Maternity Hotels’ In California Full of Pregnant Foreign Women
Tuesday Federal Agents forced entry into twenty Southern California locations believed to be orchestrating “maternity tourism” scams for pregnant alien women aiming to gain U.S. citizenship for their soon to be born child.
According to U.S. immigration officials, the “maternity hotels,” which housed predominantly women from China, cost anywhere from $15,000 to 50,000 depending on negotiated services.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, or ICE, reported that locations for the “maternity hotels” included Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.
No one was arrested in connection with the scheme, reported Reuters. It is not illegal for women coming from foreign countries to give birth to children in the United States. Moreover, the U.S. Constitution grants citizenship to children born in the United States regardless of where the parents are from.
However, other felonies such as visa and tax fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy are often attached to these types of operation. Wednesday ICE investigators will interview the women and any other material witnesses found at the locations.