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Chinese birth tourism targeted in federal crackdown, 20 charged

Sardonicus Landshark
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02/01/2019 10:36 AM
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Chinese birth tourism targeted in federal crackdown, 20 charged
The US has charged 20 people over three "birth tourism" schemes that operated in southern California to bring pregnant Chinese women into the US to secure birthright citizenship for their children, federal prosecutors said.

Three defendants were arrested on Thursday morning, while the others named in the indictments are "fugitive defendants", the prosecutors said.

The defendants are accused of links to three "birth houses" operating in southern California that catered to wealthy women from China and were dismantled by federal agents in March 2015.

The indictments charge that Chinese customers were coached on how to pass US consulate interviews in China by falsely stating they would stay in the US for only two weeks and to trick customs staff at entry ports by wearing loose clothing to conceal their pregnancies, prosecutors said in the statement.

Dongyuan Li's business was called You Win USA, and authorities say she coached pregnant Chinese women on how to get into the US to deliver babies who would automatically enjoy all the benefits of American citizenship.

Over two years, the 41-year-old raked in millions through her business, where mothers-to-be paid between $US40,000 and $US80,000 each to come to California, stay in an upscale apartment and give birth, authorities said.

Ms Li, who was arrested on Thursday, is one of the 20 people charged in the first federal crackdown on birth tourism businesses that prosecutors said brought hundreds of pregnant women to the US.

Ms Li, who operated You Win USA and paid in full for a $US2.1 million home in Irvine, California, and a new Mercedes Benz, told an undercover federal agent who was posing as a pregnant Chinese citizen that her company would train her to interview for a visa and pass customs, according to court filings.

Birth tourism businesses have long operated in California and other states and cater to couples from China, Russia, Nigeria and elsewhere.

[link to www.abc.net.au (secure)]

Last Edited by Sardonicus Landshark on 02/01/2019 10:37 AM