In May 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008. Chinese mothers are using the law as a means to bring home their own ‘gold medal,’ a baby with American citizenship.
The Act enabled the United States to take over the labor and immigration system of Saipan, the largest island and capital of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). As a result, employers in Saipan are now allowed to apply for U.S. work visas for immigrant workers under the new act. Also, importantly, babies born in Saipan are now automatically U.S. citizens.
Many Chinese moved quickly to take advantage of the act. Immigration services in big Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan have started programs like “Labor Export to Saipan” and “Deliver an American Baby in Saipan.”
Expectant mothers pay anywhere from 140,000 to 240,000 RMB (about $20,000 to $35,000) for the service that allows them to deliver their babies in Saipan.