Unfortunately, the New York Times' reporter Jennifer Medina couldn’t get much of a grasp on why foreigners would go to all this expense and trouble. It seems to her, to have something to do with passports:
"Immigration experts say they can only guess why well-to-do Chinese women are so eager to get United States passports for their babies, but they suspect it is largely as a kind of insurance policy should they need to move."
... To help the NYT’s puzzlement in case it should ever want to return to this subject, let’s find out what the Chinese themselves say are the reasons. An enterprising reader of mine went to the trouble of looking up a Chinese birth tourism website—the extremely pink Chinese Baby Care. He then had Google Translate render the Chinese characters into approximate English.
And figuring out the motives behind birth tourism is well worth doing. It’s a hugely significant phenomenon—because it makes explicit a topic that is almost never discussed in the American media, but is feverishly analyzed abroad: the scarcity value of the right to live in America.