Federal ‘Maternity Tourism’ Case Grows with Arrest of O.C. Attorney

Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2015

Federal agents have arrested an Irvine attorney on suspicion of trying to spirit a Chinese woman out of the U.S. in violation of a court order that she remain in the country as part of an investigation into illegal immigration of pregnant women, authorities said Monday.

Ken Zhiyi Liang, 38, was taken into custody on Friday and faces a charge of attempted witness tampering. During a court appearance Monday, a magistrate judge set bail for Liang at $100,000, despite a request from prosecutors that he be kept in custody, said a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office. {snip}

The arrest stems from an ongoing investigation into so-called maternity tourism in Southern California. In March, scores of federal agents raided properties associated with three alleged operators, who typically bring pregnant Chinese women into the country on tourist visas so their children will be born U.S. citizens.

After searching apartment complexes in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties where operators were suspected of housing pregnant women, authorities named several people as material witnesses in the case and barred them from leaving the country.

Four of the witnesses hired Liang to represent them. In early April, two of them–a husband and wife–fled back to China, evading detection by purchasing tickets shortly before takeoff through a Chinese travel company, according to court records.

Days later, another of the witnesses represented by Liang was caught at LAX trying to board a nonstop flight to China with her husband and infant child.

Suspecting that Liang was involved in the efforts to flee, federal agents sought help from the remaining witness, a woman identified in court records by her initials D.L., authorities said.

The woman approached Liang for help in getting out of the U.S. and agreed to pay $6,000 for the job, court records show.

She made video and audio recordings of several telephone and in-person conversations with Liang, in which he pressed her for payment and stressed the need to keep his involvement a secret.

Among other promises, Liang told the woman that for an additional charge, he could arrange with associates to get her aboard a flight to China without any immigration paperwork, officials claimed in court filings.

{snip}

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  • dd121

    I doubt if this is a high priority for Obama.

    • Rob

      Anything related to saving America is NOT a high priority for Obama. Only destroying America is his priority.

  • You will notice in these stories about Federal crackdowns on birth tourism that the birth tourists are not punished.

  • Caesar Avgvstvs

    Birth tourism is one major reason why the 14th amendment to the US constitution should be scrapped.

    • Reynardine

      You OBVIOUSLY don’t understand that the original intent of that amendment was to flood the country with shifty foreigners looking to re-establish their dysfunctional cultures in our backyards.

      • JohnnyMangoes

        American culture is dysfunctional. Part of the reason people go there is because they buy into the materialistic BS your country has been peddling to the world. Most Chinese people prefer staying in China and raising their kids and are my I more family oriented than the 70% divorce rate Americans.

    • Light from the East

      Abrogation of gaining citizenship by birth is necessary for America.

  • Hilis Hatki

    Looks like even the government wants to make money on birth tourism.

  • phillyguy

    another scam by the Chinese, backed by the Chinese government into duping the U.S. , the Chinese are a bigger threat to us than the blacks and browns combined.

  • John Smith

    Mexicans are some of the biggest “birth tourists,” and in places like San Ysidro, their “US citizen” offspring cross every day to go to school on the dime of US taxpayers.

  • As little love as I have for the FBI, I am very glad they are doing their job in this respect.

  • LackawannaErie

    Chinese have now surpassed Mexicans to become the largest legal immigrant group.

    The Founding Fathers and Americans for generations after that did not believe that Asians could be Americans. Asians were not allowed to be citizens.

    • JohnnyMangoes

      Jesus. There are millions of Asians that have been in the U.S. for a very long time. They’re normal people.

      The new Chinese going to the U.S. are trash, yes. But it’s a drop in the bucket of a complete global free for all on western countries.

      There’s good and bad in every race and to be honest, I feel offended that you’re saying that my mother who taught young white children and was church going her whole life, isn’t entitled to be a citizen.

    • JohnnyMangoes

      On top of that they didn’t even know what an Asian was.

      Look in your own backyard. You slaughtered Indian women and children from the land you’re living on, yes or no.

      Your people also imported genocide and murder to China and India.