ICE raids dozens of ‘birth tourism’ establishments in California: “Done with their games”

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CALIFORNIA – On March 3rd, immigration officials were entrenched in raids throughout the counties of Orange, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles in California.

These weren’t the typical raids, though: They were targeting what’s been described as suspected “birth tourism” establishments.

These businesses are essentially operations where establishment owners charge pregnant women who are either legally or illegally in the country upwards of $50,000 in exchange for concealed housing, meals, and transportation to hospital appointments.

The purpose behind all this is for soon-to-be mothers capitalizing on the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees birthright citizenship.

Once a minor child attains birthright citizenship, it often compels immigration proceedings to grant some kind of status for the child’s parent or parents.

Basically, potentially expediting allotted statuses for the child’s caretakers which is often viewed as cutting the proverbial immigration line.  

In the raids that took place, agents investigated three dozen sites scattered throughout Southern California which were suspected “birth tourism” establishments.

One of the alleged businesses akin to the targeted raids is the JR Motel, a formerly operated motel in Orange that hosts 28 rooms. The now seemingly closed motel has been cited as allegedly violating zoning laws and harboring pregnant Chinese women.

Reportedly, the JR Motel has been operating without any signage out front, nor with any implication that they were accepting room reservations from the general public.

However, the Orange County Register reported that the former motel hosted a nursery and even provided strollers to their unique occupants.

One day prior to the raids kicking off on March 3rd, the Orange Planning Commission voted to have the establishment’s motel license revoked.

President Trump has been rather critical of birthright citizenship being exploited.

Last year in August, Trump stated the following on the topic:

“We’re looking at that very seriously. Birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land. You walk over the border, have a baby, congratulations, the baby’s now a U.S. citizen.

We’re looking at it very, very seriously. It’s, frankly, ridiculous.”

While the president’s phrasing might be considered insensitive to some, the manner he described it is spot on. No matter what the circumstances are of someone’s custodial parents, if they’re born on American soil then they’re a United States citizen.

In fact, it was issues related to “birth tourism” that caused the country of Ireland to abolish an unconditional, birthright citizenship model.

That move, made in 2004, was supported and passed by 80% of the voters within Ireland.

When Ireland amended their own constitution to reflect the new restrictions on birthright citizenship, BBC news commented on the motivation:

“The government said change was needed because foreign women were traveling to Ireland to give birth in order to get an EU passport for their babies.”

After the raids conducted this past Tuesday, immigration officials noted that there were zero arrests made at any of the suspected “birth tourism” facilities. 

However, that’s not to say that there weren’t ongoing violations and illegal activities taking place.

Federal immigration officials only noted that the raids were an effort to collect evidence of suspected visa and tax fraud within the facilities raided.

Officials declined to reveal what their findings were at any of the alleged “birth tourism” facilities.

According to the CBP’s website, there’s no federal law that expressly forbids non-citizens with a valid visa from entering the country while they’re pregnant.

However, the CBP website does warn that one can be denied entry into the country at the discretion of any CBP officer. Meaning that aspects related to a pregnant non-citizen’s due date can be wagered by the individual agent processing one’s entry.  

That’s not all that’s going on with regard to immigration officials and the state of California either. 

Last month, ICE was getting fed up with having immigration detainers being ignored in the state.  Since California state sanctuary laws forbid state and local law enforcement from acknowledging immigration detainers, ICE decided it was time for immigration subpoenas.

Clearly, ICE is done playing games with these sanctuary states (and, frankly, it’s about damn time).

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press release from the agency was seething with embedded frustration on February 14th.

The release detailed the frustration that ICE has been dealing with in trying to get California to simply cooperate with their efforts to remove criminal illegal immigrants. Time and again, we’ve heard stories about how law enforcement agencies within sanctuary cities and states have refused to respect immigration detainers issued by ICE.

Among those frustrated is none other than Gregory Archambeault, who serves as the San Diego Field Office Director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations within the sanctuary state.

Within the press release, the Archambeault was quoted saying:

“The public needs to be aware and concerned that California sanctuary state laws do not protect public safety and is bad public policy.  Criminal aliens are being released back into the community daily and most will re-offend resulting in more victims.”

What Archambeault is citing is plain common sense, since ICE has detailed time and again instances where criminal aliens could have been removed, but sanctuary cities shielded them. Just last month, ICE released a detailed account of the harm sanctuary cities like New York City are causing.

Archambeault continued expressing his disdain with these “woke” politics eroding public safety priorities:

“For ICE, the most concerning part about dealing with uncooperative jurisdictions, or places that are not allowed to work with us, is that we don’t always know who is being arrested, when they’ll be released, or if they are at-large in the community again.”

So now, instead of ICE relying on the hopes that California will abide by an immigration detainer request – they’ve upgraded to using an immigration subpoena. Several of them actually, naming specific individuals that the agency believes that San Diego County Sheriff’s Office has in their custody.

The announcement starts off with the following:

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement served four immigration subpoenas Friday on the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office requesting information about multiple illegal aliens who were criminally arrested in San Diego, yet under California’s sanctuary state laws, the SDSO cannot honor immigration detainers or provide ICE non-public information about the criminal aliens to include notifying ICE if a criminal alien has been released back into the community.” 

You see, subpoenas are a whole different can of worms than an immigration detainer.

Legally speaking, “detainers” are like requests that would typically get honored out of professional courtesy.

However, sanctuary states and cities have specifically instructed their state/city-run law enforcement branches to not cooperate with these requests. So, while they’re official requests, ignoring them has no real federal penalty.

That’s where subpoenas come in to play.

Granted, they’re a little timelier to get into motion since they require a judge’s signature.

But, once it’s signed, failure to abide equates to being held in contempt. Meaning folks can start getting fined or jailed for not complying with whatever information the subpoena requests.

ICE had no issues explaining why it has now come to this with California:

ICE has not historically needed to use its lawful authority to issue subpoenas for information from other law enforcement agencies, as most law enforcement agencies throughout the country willingly provide ICE with information regarding aliens arrested for crimes in the interest of public safety.”

What’s all the sadder is that the people ICE is looking to detain have some pretty horrendous criminal histories and allegations.

One of the persons ICE is seeking is a 28-year-old illegal alien arrested for was arrested for assault with force, great bodily injury, child cruelty and battery of spouse by the SDPD in January this year.

That person had already been removed several times from the country and already has a previous conviction in the states for battery on spouse.

One of the other persons ICE is ready to get custody of is a 40-year-old illegal alien who was arrested for continuing sexual abuse of a child, lewd and lascivious act of a child under fourteen years old, and oral copulation with a person under fourteen years old.

This arrest is on top of the two previous DUI convictions as well. The other two ICE are looking for aren’t winners either – with one having methamphetamine charges and the other charged for false imprisonment and battery of a spouse.

ICE explained in their release that this is the first time they’ve needed to do this in California. They noted that in January of this year they’d done the same in Denver, Connecticut and New York. The statement by ICE concluded that if these subpoenas issued get ignored, there will be consequences.

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