Pregnant women will have a hard time travelling to the United States of America after a new policy came into place on Friday.
The Donald Trump administration seeks to curb birth tourism- pregnant foreign nationals who travel to give birth on US soil, making their new-borns Americans by birth.
The policy comes into effect on Friday and the White House insists that the State Department will no longer issue temporary visas to foreigners to enter the US for ‘birth tourism.’
“Visitors to the US will be denied temporary visas if it’s found that the “primary purpose” of travel is for obtaining US citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States, according to an amended State Department regulation to be published Friday.
The rule however spares 39 countries, most of which are European.
A State Department official confirmed the development but was at task to explain the specific ways that the new rule would be enforced and its actual effectiveness.
This follows a revelation that consular officers were told they couldn’t directly ask a woman if they are pregnant.
“You must not ask a visa applicant whether they are pregnant unless you have a specific articulable reason to believe they may be pregnant and planning to give birth in the United States. You must not, as a matter of course, ask all female applicants (or any specific sub-sets of applicants) whether they are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.”
On Thursday, the White House the new rule will close tighten the porous immigration policy and protect Americans from the national security risks created by this practice.
In 2018, Trump vowed to end birthright citizenship by executive order, though lawmakers immediately pushed back against his comments, and it remains to be seen how far the latest policy will go.