Russian Tourists Stay At Trump Properties In Florida To Give Birth To U.S. Citizens — REPORT
Birth tourism is nothing new. Each year, some tens of thousands of expecting parents travel to the United States to give birth so their children can have American citizenship. According to a new exposé by The Daily Beast on Thursday, wealthy Russians are staying at Trump properties and giving birth to American citizens as part of a burgeoning birth tourism industry centered around the president's beachfront properties in Miami. Bustle has reached out to the Trump Organization for comment.
Birth tourism and American birthright is a practice that Trump has denounced in the past, and there's no evidence of any wrongdoing on his part — or that of the Trump Organization. (The Daily Beast did not receive responses from the Trump Organization for its requests for comment.) But some may draw a connection between the president's businesses and the controversial practice. Chinese birth tourists have seen a crackdown, for example, even though there's nothing illegal about visiting to the U.S. to give birth, as long as you don't lie to get your visa.
The way that Trump would reportedly benefit is from the rentals in his buildings. Some of these are condominiums that Trump already sold; otherwise, real estate companies reportedly rent them out directly to Russian tourists, or as part of a birth package that includes a place to stay.
The president wouldn't make money on the rent, but his businesses would benefit if they visit the Trump International Beach Resort, The Daily Beast reported. The two Russian restaurants in the area are directly across the street from that property. The Daily Beast also notes that "shops serving a taste of Eastern Europe" are nearby.
But either way, the news site explains just how big a role Trump's image plays in attracting these pregnant Russian couples to use their services:
SVM-MED, a Miami birth tourism company that also boasts outposts in Moscow and Kiev, offers three tiers of packages to its clients, with the top two advertising lodging in Trump Towers. The most expensive package from costs $84,700 for a Trump Tower II apartment with a gold-tiled bathtub and chauffeured Cadillac Escalade or Mercedes Benz.
Ironically, last year during the campaign, Trump supported changing the laws in a way that would make this impossible. His website explained that "Automatic citizenship for babies in the U.S. is the biggest magnet for illegal immigration so this practice should be abolished." That would have ended the benefits for these Russian visitors.
In January, a draft immigration order clamping down on birth tourism was circulated, but it reportedly didn't go beyond that. And months into Trump's presidency, he appears to be following through with his campaign promise to crack down on undocumented immigrants. His public opposition to birth tourism, however, has fallen silent.