Business, Economics and Jobs

Wealthy Russians are having babies in the US, for passports

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A small child wears a "Babies 4 Trump" cap as the then-candidate Donald Trump spoke at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, on Sept. 6, 2016.

Credit:

Mike Segar/Reuters

Every month, dozens of babies are born in Florida to wealthy Russian families.

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

According to a story in the Daily Beast, the families move in for a few months, have their babies, then make sure their newborns get US citizenship.

“Birth tourism” companies sell packages that cost tens of thousands of dollars, and often steer their clients to Donald Trump-brand properties.

“We’re talking about wealthy Russians who can afford to take anywhere from three to six months to come, hang out on Florida beaches, rent an apartment, pay out of pocket for top-tier medical care, and have their babies here,” Katie Zavadski, who reported the Daily Beast story, tells The World.

Zavadski says parents like the medical care and the weather (when there are no hurricanes). “But certainly,” Zavadski adds, “one of the most important benefits is that the children get an American passport, which enables them to come work in the US when they’re adults; it enables them to come to school in the US; and more importantly, to travel the world freely and not have the sorts of visa restrictions that Russian citizens often have.”

The irony is that, on the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump railed against “anchor babies” — a demeaning name for children born to a noncitizen mother in a country to gain new citizenship for the child. And yet, according to the Daily Beast, the Trump Organization has apparently been profiting from very wealthy Russians doing just that.

The Trump Organization has not responded to a request for comment. 

Listen to Katie Zavadski talk more about her reporting on Russians having babies in the US on the latest episode of The World above.