A ‘birth tourism’ scheme was recently discovered. A Chinese national pled guilty to helping pregnant women by the hundreds to enter the United States so that they could have their children born in the US and receive US citizenship.
Dongyuan Li pled guilty to two different federal crimes. This included one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and another of visa fraud. According to a press release from the Justice Department, she was part of a birth tourism business found in Orange County, California.
Li ran a company known as You Win USA Vacation Services Corp during the years of 2013 and 2015. The company’s specialization was to help Chinese government officials, as well as wealthy pregnant clients, get around various US immigration laws. That allowed them to enter the United States said that they would be able to, eventually, give birth to their children. Those children would automatically earn US citizenship by being born on American soil.
The company operated out of China as well as Irvine, California. Allegedly, company officials would coach customers on how to make false statements on their visa applications as well as to US immigration officials. Customers were also coached on how to lie during their interviews at the US Consulate in China. They would tell interviewers that they would only be in the United States for a couple of weeks. In actuality, they would remain in the country for as many as three months. Clients were also taught how to conceal pregnancies from U.S. Customs officials.
Li was able to make a significant amount of money in a short period of time. Customers were charged as high as $80,000. A total of three million dollars was made via wire transfers originating in China over the span of two years according to a federal grand jury indictment in 2019. The immigration fraud scheme was significant, with Li using 20 different apartment addresses for customers throughout Irvine California.
You Win USA Vacation Services marketed that they were able to serve 500+ Chinese clients who sought citizenship via American birthright for their children. Li was one of 19 defendants who was named within a series of indictments that were unsealed earlier in 2019, according to the Justice Department. Li is the first one charged with operating the birth tourism business to plead guilty. The remaining 18 defendants are either fugitives or pending trial.
A number of government organizations have been investigating the case. This includes IRS Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations. As of right now, Li has a sentencing hearing that is scheduled for December 16. Until then, the rest of the defendants are being dealt with to ensure that they face the fullest level of the law.
With such a problem with immigration, the fact that such a thing can happen under the noses of the US Consulate in China and within California is shocking. When Democrats look to ease up on immigration laws, they need to be reminded of these types of problems that occur.
Hundreds of Chinese women came to the United States simply to be able to deliver their children so that they could become US citizens. The United States is one of the few countries who grant citizenship to someone who is born on the country’s soil, regardless of whether the parents are legal citizens of the country or not. It’s why there has been such a problem at the southern border, too.
A number of Republicans have looked to change that law so that citizenship isn’t so easily granted. However, it’s constantly being thwarted by Democrats who would rather put an end to immigration law altogether in order to open up the borders.
The United States may be the land of the free but there is a correct and legal way to enter the country. Those who were behind You Win USA Vacation Services found a loophole within the laws of the country and exploited that for personal gain. They also lied and deceived to ensure that immigration would not find out that visas were being given to pregnant women who planned to give birth to their children in the country. Had each person told the truth, they wouldn’t have been granted.
If the US were to allow each and every person who visits to become a citizen, the cost of benefits given to everyone would send the country into more of a deficit than what it is already in. Li has pleaded guilty, and the hope is that all of the others behind the birthing scheme will do the same.