by Ching-Ching Ni
From the outside, they looked like other recently built San Gabriel townhouses — two stories, Spanish style, with roofs of red tile. Inside they were maternity centers for Chinese women willing to pay handsomely to travel here to give birth to American citizens.
Southern California has become a hub of so-called birthing tourism. Operators of such centers tend to try to blend in, attracting as little attention as possible. But on quiet, residential Palm Avenue, neighbors had noticed an unusual number of pregnant women going in and out, and some complained about noise.
On March 8, code enforcement officials shut down three identical four-bedroom townhouses functioning as an unlicensed birthing center. The homes, officials said, had been converted into maternity centers. Inside, they found about 10 mothers and seven newborns.
... The city fined the manager of the property, Dwight Chang of Arcadia, $800. He was cited for illegal construction and ordered to acquire permits and return the buildings to their original condition. "They had moved walls around without proper permits. They did interior work that can sometimes create unsafe environments afterwards," Davis said. "And it's a business in a residential neighborhood. They are not permitted to operate there."
All that stuff is just plain illegal. No way no how can you move walls around without proper permits.
On the other hand, random foreigners grabbing lifelong U.S. citizenship for their children -- including such perks as 13 years of free public education in an upscale San Gabriel Valley school district, cheap tuition at UC Berkeley, low interest SBA loans, government contracting minority preferences, the right to import their parents and put them on Medicare and in public old folks homes, and other goodies -- through these scams is, legally speaking, A-OK, 100% on the up and up:
It is not illegal for pregnant women to travel to the U.S. to give birth. Birthing centers advertise in wealthier Chinese cities, where some women can afford the thousands necessary to make the trip to America for a few months. Most of the women go back to China after giving birth. But they know their children can return easily in the future to enjoy such benefits as free public education.