Canadians demand action as birth tourism operators go global

By Lisa Tanh

Canadian citizens are demanding that federal government curb the practice of birth tourism as several underground businesses expand into global operations.

Kerry Starchuk, a Richmond resident and anti-birth tourism activist, highlighted that some global operations have offices in Canada and the U.S., such as Globalbaby6.com and Meiyajiabao.com. One local business has even received an award from the City of Richmond for their business contributions.

“It’s something that has been allowed to manifest into something bigger,” Starchuk said. “Companies blatantly advertise we’ll teach you how to lie and how to get into Canada. They’re professional people.”

On Globalbaby6.com, various posts advertise giving birth overseas is one of the easiest ways to immigrate and how people can take advantage of government benefits, including employment insurance and the Canadian Child Benefit. They also encourage clients to give birth in Canada instead of the U.S. since the immigration policies are more relaxed.

David Chen, a former mayoral candidate and independent certified financial planner, said that some parents are buying properties in trust for a Canadian born baby to bypass foreign buyers tax and other government measures.

“This allows laundered money to continue to impact our real estate markets unfettered by these types of control measures,” Chen said. “It is illogical that other industries are required to report who the source of capital came from and how they acquired it when amounts over $10,000 are involved.”

Chen highlighted that the birth tourism industry needs to comply with these prudent practices to make it less vulnerable to money laundering and tax evasion. He estimates that the businesses have processed transactions up to a total of $450 million across Canada.

In the past, Chen and other participants in a group investigation uncovered court documents from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office on a birthing hotel operation. Investigators detected $4.5 million USD of currency transfers over two years and discovered evidence that real estate, luxury cars and goods were purchased with the money — all of which are trademarks of money laundering.

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Yousif Samarrai, an SFU graduate who analyzed policy options to address birth tourism, recommends that the federal government make it mandatory for at least one parent to submit their social insurance number to obtain citizenship for their child.

“It works in the sense that you’re using an established process,” Samarrai said. “And realistically, if you’re in Canada without having or waiting for a social insurance number, what necessarily is your purpose here?”

Samarrai highlighted that implementing this policy would soil the plans of people who do not plan to contribute to Canada’s economy and birthing hotels’ business aspirations.

Starchuk and other Richmond residents are now asking their community to sign an online petition that asks the federal government to address birth tourism before it expires. The petition was sponsored by Conservative MP Alice Wong and will expire on June 30th.

7 Responses to Canadians demand action as birth tourism operators go global

  1. Cindy Xiong says:

    “Birth tourism” is a racist xenophobic language to demonize migrant pregnant woman and their children.

    Framing of so-called birth tourists and their children as system cheaters is part of a larger trend of criminalizing migrants using the language of deservedness, desirability and illegality to pit “undeserving” migrants against the generosity of Canadians. To this end, birth tourists and their children are marked as less desirable because they are using what is thought of as an improper — albeit legal — channel to obtain Canadian citizenship.

    Rather than furthering narratives that demonize and criminalize nonresident mothers as birth tourists, we need to shift the focus to how these women’s experiences are eclipsed as a result of this dangerous discourse. Marking these women as queue jumpers and citizenship fraudsters ignores the real-life obstacles they encounter within the health care system and the Canadian immigration system.

    • Mohammed Raj says:

      The article is literally about companies and their clients that take advantage of legal loopholes in Canada’s immigration system and citizenship by birth. It allows for queue jumping through these means and supports money laundering. It’s also using abusing an otherwise compassionate law which is very rare across the world; only a handful of countries practice it. Calling criticism of the practice “racist and xenophobic” is a red herring (and a poor attempt at deflection) and only serves to render the term meaningless, especially in cases where it’s actually relevant.

    • Xi Da Da says:

      On this topic, the best way to reduce racism against Chinese-Canadians is to implement policies that prevent citizenship fraud and tax evasion (evasion of both Chinese and Canadian taxes).

      Your reasoning is sketchy. There are a lot of things in this world that are legal that shouldn’t be, along with a lot of very innovative business models designed to exploit those loopholes. That’s what politics is for… to change the law.

      And your comment reads like typical social justice warrior language:
      ‘Migrant’ – Language of victimhood.
      ‘marked as less desirable
      ‘demonize’
      ‘dangerous discourse’ – Because Canadians are too stupid to read proposals like this.
      ‘furthering narratives’
      ‘shift the focus’
      ‘expereinces’
      ‘the language of deservedness, desirability and illegality’
      ‘the real-life obstacles they encounter’ – Yeah, it’s probably difficult to give birth in a country you don’t want to live in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi, so how much did the Chinese Communist Party pay you to write that?

    • Beau says:

      If the current phenomenon mirrored more historic examples of migration to Canada – people escaping desperate situations to begin a new hopeful life in our country – what you’re saying may have some merit.

      But the current situation is something new, and is quite exploitative. It is typified by wealthy people with no understanding or interest in the well-being of our community (except insofar as how it can be used for their own benefit), and really only a passing interest in becoming a part of our community. Our immigration system wasn’t designed to handle an influx of wealthy people who could simply buy citizenship for their children, and tuck that document away for the future – not because they want to become functional members of our society, but for the sake of convenience of future investments, travel, etc. They’ve explicitly told us so.

      This is a sordid practice that must stop, it is undermining what it means to have Canadian citizenship, it’s harming communities here and now (and will likely go on doing so into the future), and there’s nothing racist in saying so. People who want to immigrate here the proper way are more than welcome, but birth tourism must stop.

    • Perry says:

      Canada is for canadians. Period. We are finished taking dirty third world money and goblin babies.
      Go back to your Beijing propaganda office.

  2. Xi Da Da says:

    On this topic, the best way to reduce racism against Chinese-Canadians is to implement policies that prevent citizenship fraud and tax evasion (evasion of both Chinese and Canadian taxes).

    Your reasoning is sketchy. There are a lot of things in this world that are legal that shouldn’t be, along with a lot of very innovative business models designed to exploit those loopholes. That’s what politics is for… to change the law.

    And your comment reads like typical social justice warrior language that you can basically apply to any situation:
    ‘Migrant’ – Language of victimhood.
    ‘marked as less desirable’
    ‘demonize’
    ‘dangerous discourse’ – Because Canadians are too stupid to read proposals like this without losing all sense of reason
    ‘furthering narratives’
    ‘shift the focus’
    ‘experiences’
    ‘the language of deservedness, desirability and illegality’
    ‘the real-life obstacles they encounter’ – Yeah, it’s probably difficult to give birth in a country you don’t want to live in.

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