Immigration is such a hot topic now that news out of an upscale Chino Hills, California neighborhood leaves many Americans shocked. The “maternity mansion” as it is now dubbed, has been charging women from China high prices to give birth in the United States, arguably “buying citizenship” for their babies.

The address of the seven bedroom “maternity mansion” was reportedly linked to the website AsiamChild.com. This Chinese language website reportedly advertises the American birthing experience to prospective mothers, with packages ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. The website calls the expenditure a “worthwhile investment” in order to have an American baby and even goes so far as to provide tips for mothers on how to secure a passport for their newborn and how to hide their pregnancies from U.S. customs officers, so they can receive a visitor’s visa.

To prevent suspicion, pregnant mothers are advised to wear a dark T-shirt and use a large backpack to cover their stomachs. They are also told not to bring in any items specific to pregnant women and babies.

Residents in Chino Hills, formed the group “Not in Chino Hills” in an effort to put a stop to the “maternity mansion.” Authorities in Chino Hills began looking into the residence after neighbors witnessed many heavily pregnant women coming and going near the home and feared it could be a part of a human trafficking ring.

Citizenship by Birth a Constitutional Right

So what to do? The 14th Amendment states that any child born in America automatically becomes a US citizen. Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, “there is no law prohibiting pregnant women from entering the U.S. But obtaining a visa through fraud would be a crime.” Still, how can the residents prohibit women from giving birth in their neighborhood?

Last week the City of Chino Hills issued the foreign-based owner of the home a cease-and-desist order for allegedly operating a hotel in a residential neighborhood, which is illegal. It is also reported that the home is on the verge of being ‘shut down’ after complaints about traffic and a sewage spill.

This is not the first incident of these so-called “birthing centers.” Last year, officials shut down facilities, in San Gabriel, California.

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