Sun Hongqin, left, a nurse at Dong'e County People's Hospital in Shandong province, teaches a group of expectant mothers how to care for their newborns, Dec. 7, 2013. (File photo/Xinhua)
More than 70% of the parents of newborn babies in Saipan are from China, as many expectant mothers from the country have visited the small US territory, a four-hour flight from mainland China, to give birth and secure a US passport for their children, reports the Chinese-language website of the Beijing-based Global Times, citing ABC News.
Some Chinese tour agencies offer expectant mothers packages for the island starting from US$27,000, which includes luxury accommodation, high-end medical care, social security cards, birth certificates and instant US citizenship for their babies.
The island has become a sought-after destination for tourists as well as expectant mothers since they can visit for 45 days without a visa. The number of American-born-Chinese born on the island has increased from eight in 2009 to 282 in 2012 and these children will be able to bring their families to the US when they become adults.
The trend has drawn the attention of Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), who has brought it to the attention of the US department of Homeland Security.