Breaking Travel News, June 10, 2010
A New York hotel is staking its claim to have invented a new hospitality niche–birth tourism. The Marmara Manhattan offers “an exclusive package for new mothers that wish to give birth in the USA”, with the additional bonus of the newborn child gaining US citizenship.
The Marmara Manhattan [part of the Turkish hospitality chain], which is located in New York’s Upper East Side, told The Times: “What we offer is simply a one-bedroom suite accommodation for $5,100, plus taxes, for a month, with airport transfer, baby cradle and a gift set for the mother.” There are also medical fees of about £20,500.
However the price is a cheap and easy one to pay for US citizenship. Many will eventually use the newborn–known as an “anchor baby”–as a stepping stone for the immigration of extended family.
According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the practice is entirely legal as long as the women can pay their medical bills.
They receive food stamps and social programmes. The American taxpayers are paying for it.
“Many people say they are doing it because they want their kids to get a cheaper education and not deal with visa issues when they grow up,” said Levant Bas, of the Istanbul-based operator Gurib Tourism. “We have a package that covers everything from the flight and city tours to accommodation for several months and hospital expenses.