Postpartum passports a problem

There's an outright immigration scam called Birth Tourism.

Re: Guest View: We’re surrounded by lottery winners (The Leader, Sept. 9.)

While I agree with Brenda Anderson that we are lucky to be born in Canada, there is a rising problem of being born in Canada that has nothing to do with luck, it is an outright immigration scam called Birth Tourism.

Non-residents now represent about one in every six births at Richmond Hospital’s maternity ward – one in six.

Foreign nationals travel to Canada to give birth to a child who will be granted citizenship and all the benefits that come with it.

They are secretly housed close to the hospital. The National Post reported in July there are 26 private residences in British Columbia “offering hospitality services to foreign pregnant women.”

No doubt money is exchanging hands for this service that seems not unlike human trafficking. Some of them aren’t even paying their hospital bill.

The parents can then enroll their Canadian child into elementary school, be granted residency here and get access to free health and other social programs.

Eighteen years after the child is born via birth tourism, they can apply to sponsor their parents to come to Canada and gain citizenship under our family reunification program.

Concerned about the potential impact these “anchor babies” have on Canada’s social security net, a national petition to the federal government to enact legislation which will eliminate birthright citizenship in Canada unless one of the parents is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada has been penned by local community activist Kerry Starchuk, a Richmond resident for the past 28 years whose neighbourhood is filled with empty foreign-owned properties and a few of these birth houses.

It is sponsored by the Richmond Center MP Alice Wong.

You can sign the petition here until Oct. 14.

They state it’s perfectly legal. Well, maybe it shouldn’t be.

 

Jenny MacLean

Surrey

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