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川普揚言廢出生公民權 俄生育旅行生意不減反增


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11/03/2018

川普揚言廢出生公民權 俄生育旅行生意不減反增

(World Journal) 編譯徐榆涵

俄羅斯生育旅行機構多年來積極招攬準媽媽到美國佛州分娩。(路透)

俄羅斯「生育旅行」機構多年來持續招攬富裕的準媽媽到美國佛羅里達州分娩,不僅是因為當地極棒的氣候、美麗的沙灘和棕櫚樹,也因為任何在美國土地上出生的人都會自動獲得美國公民身份,這對許多俄國父母來說都是個誘人選擇。

德國之聲報導,俄國生育旅行機構多年來不斷蓬勃發展,相關宣傳影片在網路上流傳並宣稱,每天就有多達8名俄國孕婦赴美生子。目前市面上共有10多間機構,邁阿密關懷(Miami Care)即為其中一間,雅曲曼尼夫(Anton Yatchmenev)就從事這一行。

邁阿密關懷擁有10名員工,包含一名律師、一名醫師、口譯員和一群駐邁阿密顧問。雅曲曼尼夫住在莫斯科,為已婚夫婦提供相關諮詢,他開玩笑說,偶爾要處理一些隱瞞地下情的女性客戶,背著她們丈夫進行生產。


雅曲曼尼夫說,「我們提供一系列服務,一切都根據客戶需求和財務狀況做量身打造」。他將自己的工作稱為某種形式的「全球旅遊」服務,也是一項利潤豐厚的業務。尤其自2016年俄國克服國內金融危機後,越來越多消費者有能力負擔此類服務。

邁阿密關懷每年安排多達200名俄國孕婦至佛羅里達州,客戶只需安心待產,其他事宜都得到妥善處理,包含住宿安排、醫療和法律諮詢及俄文協助,可以說這是一間為後代獲取美國公民身份的一站式商店。

雅曲曼尼夫坦承,公司服務要價不婓,「有多少俄羅斯人能在3個月內花費3萬美元(約台幣93萬元)?」

邁阿密生活開銷成本合理,且由俄國人組成的外籍人士社區規模龐大。雅曲曼尼夫說,「在邁阿密推著嬰兒車的母親,一半是俄羅斯人」,許多俄羅斯流行歌手和他們在美國出生的後代皆以邁阿密為家,「所以這些都是信任我們機構的證明」。

目前尚未有官方數據顯示有多少俄羅斯母親在美國生小孩。紐約移民研究中心(CMS)估計,每年有3.6萬名外國母親在美國生產。雅曲曼尼夫認為,數字可能會繼續增加。

美國總統川普近日放話,打算簽署行政命令終結「在美出生即公民」的政策,雅曲曼尼夫是否會擔心他的公司倒閉?他自信地說道,「恰恰相反,過去48小時內,潛在客戶的電話接不完」,「川普的計畫反而有利於生意上門,因為原先未認真考慮的人,現在會選擇在邁阿密生孩子,川普的計畫其實上是我們服務的絕佳廣告」。







11/03/2018

Birth tourism brings Russian baby boom to Miami

By Cynthia McFadden, Sarah Fitzpatrick, Tracy Connor and Anna Schecter

MIAMI — Lured by the charm of little Havana or the glamour of South Beach, some 15 million tourists visit Miami every year.

But for a growing number of Russian women, the draw isn't sunny beaches or pulsing nightclubs. It's U.S. citizenship for their newborn children.

In Moscow, it's a status symbol to have a Miami-born baby, and social media is full of Russian women boasting of their littleamericantsy.

"It's really common," said Ekaterina Kuznetsova, 29. "When I was taking the plane to come here, it was not only me. It was four or five women flying here."

Ekaterina was one of dozens of Russian birth tourists NBC News spoke to over the past four months about a round-trip journey that costs tens of thousands of dollars and takes them away from home for weeks or months.

Why do they come?

"American passport is a big plus for the baby. Why not?" Olesia Reshetova, 31, told NBC News.

"And the doctors, the level of education," Kuznetsova added.

The weather doesn't hurt, either.

"It's a very comfortable place for staying in wintertime," Oleysa Suhareva said.

It's not just the Russians who are coming. Chinese moms-to-be have been flocking to Southern California to give birth for years.

What they are doing is completely legal, as long as they don't lie on any immigration or insurance paperwork. In fact, it's protected by the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says anyone born on American soil is automatically a citizen.

The child gets a lifelong right to live and work and collect benefits in the U.S. And when they turn 21 they can sponsor their parents' application for an American green card.

As president, Donald Trump has indicated he is opposed to so-called chain migration, which gives U.S. citizens the right to sponsor relatives, because of recent terror attacks. And as a candidate, he called for an end to birthright citizenship, declaring it in one of his first policy papers the "biggest magnet for illegal immigration."

"You have to get rid of it," he said on "Meet the Press" on NBC. "They're having a baby and all of a sudden — nobody knows — the baby is here. You have no choice."

In a twist, as the Daily Beast first reported, condo buildings that bear the Trump name are the most popular for the out-of-town obstetric patients, although the units are subleased from the individual owners and it's not clear if building management is aware.

There is no indication that Trump or the Trump Organization is profiting directly from birth tourism; the company and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Roman Bokeria, the state director of the Florida Association of Realtors told NBC News that Trump- branded buildings in the Sunny Isles Beach area north of Miami are particularly popular with the Russian birth tourists and Russian immigrants.

"Sunny Isles beach has a nickname — Little Russia — because people who are moving from Russian-speaking countries to America, they want … a familiar environment."

"They go across the street, they have Russian market, Russian doctor, Russian lawyer," he added. "It's very comfortable for them."




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Reshetova came to Miami to have her first child, hiring an agency to help arrange her trip. The services — which can include finding apartments and doctors and obtaining visas — don't come cheap. She expects to pay close to $50,000, and some packages run as high as $100,000. Bokeria says some landlords ask for six months rent up front.

One firm, Miami Mama, says it brings about 100 Russian and Russian-speaking clients to the U.S. per year, 30 percent of them repeat clients. The owners are Irina and Konstantin Lubnevskiy, who bought Miami Mama after using the firm to have two American children themselves.

The couple says they counsel clients to be completely transparent with U.S. immigration officials that they're expecting.

"We tell every client, 'You have the documents, you have to tell the truth. This is America. They like the truth here,'" Konstantin said.

"I would like the American people to understand they don't have to worry," he added. "Those who come here want to become part of the American people."

But Miami Mami has drawn scrutiny from law enforcement. In June, it was raided by the FBI, and an employee was convicted of making false statements on passport applications. The owners say they knew nothing about it, fired the worker and their business license was renewed.

Federal prosecutors declined to comment on the case, and the FBI said it could not discuss "an active investigation."

There is no official data on birth tourism in the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies, which wants stricter limits on immigration, estimates there are 36,000 babies born in the U.S. to foreign nationals a year, though the numbers could be substantially lower. Florida says births in the state by all foreign nationals who live outside the United States have jumped 200 percent since 2000.

Customs and Border Protection says there are no laws governing whether pregnant foreign nationals can enter the country or give birth here.

"However, if a pregnant woman or anyone else uses fraud or deception to obtain a visa or gain admission to the United States, that would constitute a criminal act," the agency said.

When federal agents raided California "maternity hotels" catering to Chinese clients in 2015, authorities said in court papers that some of the families falsely claimed they were indigent and got reduced hospital rates.

In Miami, the Jackson Health System said 72 percent of international maternity patients — who represented 8 percent of all patients giving birth last year — pay with insurance or through a pre-arranged package.

Reshetova said she understands the concerns some have about birth tourism, because it's also an issue in Russia.

"But I pay by myself," she said. "I pay with my money, bring it here to America. I'm not going to take something to America.

"I don't know what my daughter will choose in future. But if I can spend money — my money — for her choice, why not?"

Cynthia McFadden and Sarah Fitzpatrick reported from Miami, and Tracy Connor from New York. Anna Schecter contributed reporting from New York, and Natasha Lebedeva from Washington.












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