US charges 20 people over Chinese birth tourism schemes

File photo shows resident Jin-Jou Lu talking to reporters after FBI raid of an upscale apartment complex where a birth tourism business was held, in Irvine, Calif. (AP)
Updated 31 January 2019

US charges 20 people over Chinese birth tourism schemes

SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA: Twenty people have been charged in the largest-ever crackdown on businesses that help Chinese women travel to the United States to give birth to babies who automatically became American citizens.
The US Attorney’s office in Los Angeles says three people were arrested Thursday on charges including conspiracy, visa fraud, and money laundering. More than a dozen others have also been charged in cases stemming from three so-called birth tourism businesses.
Authorities say it’s the first time the US has criminally prosecuted birth tourism operators.
The businesses allegedly billed Chinese women thousands of dollars to travel to California to deliver their babies so the children automatically obtained US citizenship. Authorities say the women hid their pregnancies and lie about details of their trips.
Federal agents raided the businesses in 2015.


Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

Updated 23 February 2020

Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

  • Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it
  • The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India

NEW DELHI: Police used tear gas to disperse large crowds in India’s capital of New Delhi on Sunday in the latest eruption of violence at protests over a new citizenship law, police officials said.
Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it, with the two groups pelting each other with stones in the Maujpur area in the northeastern part of the city, according to television footage.
“There must be some miscreants who want to spoil the peace in the area. We will identify them and take action against them,” Alok Kumar, a senior Delhi police official, told reporters about the protest.
“The situation is under control now,” he added.
The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India, where he is expected to raise the issue of religious freedom in the country with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, which eases the path for non-Muslims from neighboring Muslim-majority nations to gain citizenship, has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests against Modi’s government.
The Indian law is seen by opponents as discriminating against Muslims and has deepened concerns that Modi’s administration is undermining India’s secular traditions.
Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party denies any bias against the country’s 180 million Muslims.
On Sunday, a separate protest also erupted in the northern Indian city of Aligarh, where protesters threw stones at the police, state administration official Chandra Bhushan Singh said.
The Internet in the area had been suspended until midnight, he added.