From: Thomas O. Meehan [Email him]
Anything like patriotic immigration sentiment on Public Television is unusual. So when I chanced upon a segment of Bonnie Erbe’s To The Contrary show last week called The New Americans —a not altogether positive take on birth tourism—I had to stop and take note.
The New Americans chronicles the efforts of affluent East Asians to implant their child into our society as Cuckoo’s Eggs, to take advantage of the rest of us. That is, they come specifically with the intent of having their Chinese child born within the borders of our country. Chinese parents and participants interviewed showed no sense of shame at taking advantage of us and our institutions.
Reasons given for foisting the kids on us include
Left unsaid here was that these people know that they live in a low trust culture and so need an escape hatch, and we’re it. Erbe cites numbers of about 7500 per year for such Cuckoo Kids but admits this could be much higher.
The surprising thing given the left leaning nature of the show, is the skepticism. Bonnie Erbe actually says that Birth Tourism “Exploits the Constitution,” and “Violates the spirit but not the letter of the law.”
Much of the report is taken up with the deplorable conditions under which these women stay and have their babies. The opportunist mothers are taken advantage of by brokers in China who claim to offer luxury accommodations and medical facilities. Once the mothers are here, they find themselves in cramped illegally renovated private homes, more like flophouses.
The medical attention is provided by the taxpayers of California when the women are induced to sign statements claiming to be residents. Some have been charged with fraud. For feminist reasons Erbe can’t help viewing the mothers as victims.
The overall point of view of the segment is that birth tourism in Southern California is bad for the women, bad for the communities in which the birthing centers are hidden and dishonest.
All I can say is two cheers for Bonnie.