Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) says this week’s “birth tourism” busts by federal law enforcement show the need to end birthright citizenship in the country.
Agents raided more than three dozen “maternity hotels” set up in Southern California for the purpose of those coming on visas granted for other reasons or undocumented to give birth to a U.S. citizen.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the pregnant women, mostly from China, paid $15,000 to $50,000 for their hotel stays.
“We need to stop automatically granting citizenship to babies born in this country,” Vitter said. “I have yet to talk to anybody in the real world, which means outside of Washington, D.C., who doesn’t think this is crazy, who doesn’t think birth tourism is nuts and should be illegal.”
“I’ve heard no common sense justification for this,” he added.
Vitter, who is running for Louisiana governor this year, first introduced legislation to end birthright citizenship in 2011.
He reintroduced the bill again in January, which was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee with no co-sponsors.
The bill states that citizenship would only be granted to those born in the United States who have at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien, or an alien performing active service in the armed forces.