|¡Viva México! Photo: Rafael Aparicio/Wikimedia, CC-BY-SA.
With all the scary news coming out these days, it’s more important than ever to remember to take a deep breath and smile. So to add to Petros’ recent posts, here’s something a little different from the Taiwan edition of Apple Daily, which you should probably take with an appropriately-sized grain of salt:
Too much fun leads to accidental pre-term delivery: pregnant woman going to U.S. gives birth in Mexico
|2014年02月28日||28 February 2014|
|中國孕婦千辛萬苦赴美生子，結果生個墨西哥國籍的娃兒！網傳一名懷孕七月赴美產子的中國孕婦，因離預產期還早，就跟同一月子中心的其他孕婦去墨西哥旅遊，不料早產，生下一個男嬰，墨西哥籍。||A pregnant Chinese woman went through all sorts of hardships to go to the U.S. to give birth, but in the end she gave birth to a Mexican boy! A story is spreading on the internet about a seven-months pregnant Chinese woman who went to the U.S., but because it was still a while away from the expected date of birth, went on a trip to Mexico with another pregnant woman from the same birth centre, and unexpectedly had a pre-term delivery, giving birth to a baby boy, [who now has] Mexican citizenship.|
Immigration brokers advertise to the Chinese public very aggressively with the hilariously misleading catch phrase that “a U.S. baby is worth RMB9.8 million” (about US$1.5 million). Maybe to the Treasury, but to a Chinese parent with no status in the U.S., a blue-passport baby is the worst of both worlds.
For genuine high net-worth individuals in China who really want to go to the U.S. rather than any of the other destinations on offer to them, the vehicle of choice for entry is not birth tourism but an EB-5 green card, which can be acquired and cancelled at need for one’s self or one’s children by gifting them the requisite $500,000 in funding — and if they acquire and cancel it within seven years, there’s no exit tax owed. In contrast, flying overseas while heavily pregnant — at risk to mother and child both — is rather the province of the upper-middle classes, the ones who are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to avoid losing out in their scramble to ape the genuinely rich.
|為爭做美國人，中國孕婦赴美產子的熱潮不息，從西雅圖到紐約，以她們為服務對象的待產月子中心開到成行成市。昨日美國洛杉磯華人資訊網上的一則消息引來各方關注。||The trend of pregnant Chinese women going to the U.S. to give birth to American babies continues to grow, and from Seattle to New York, the birth centres which serve them have been opening up all over the place. Yesterday, a story on a Los Angeles Chinese web portal attracted a lot of attention.|
|當地網友藍葉子爆料：一個從中國來的孕婦到這邊生寶寶，覺得（只懷胎）七個月還早，hold住，就跟同一個月子中心的其他孕婦沒事出去得瑟得瑟，然後，她們去了墨西哥，到處吃喝唱唱跳跳，買買東西甚麼的，可能是太歡樂，沒繃住，還沒回到美國境內，就生了一個男寶寶。||Local internet user “Blue Leaf” revealed, a woman came over from China to give birth to a baby, and thought it was still early because she was only seven months pregnant, so she stayed active and went around town with another woman from the same birth centre. Later on, they went to Mexico, going around eating, dancing, singing shopping, and having a good time — maybe too much of a good time, because she couldn’t hold it in, and before she got back to the U.S., she gave birth to a baby boy.|
Well, to be honest I don’t know how much veracity there really is in this internet tall tale about a seven-months pregnant woman living it up in Tijuana or wherever. But hey — it definitely has no less Truthiness than any of the other, far less humourous news the U.S. Anglophone media keeps spitting out, like “groundswell of international interest in FATCA”, “China will sign by January 2014”, “renunciants got rich in the U.S. and now they don’t want to pay their fair share“, and all the rest of the Stack Of Lies that they try to feed us.
|事件引起當地華人熱議，有網友說：「哈哈哈，堪稱赴洛杉磯生子十大失敗案例之一」、「回家再上個中國戶口吧。」也有不少中國網民幸災樂禍；亦有人留言安慰：「墨西哥護照也還行，至少不受計劃生育的管轄。」||The incident was a hot topic in the local Chinese community, with some internet users saying: “Haha, definitely one of the ten biggest failures in going to Los Angeles to give birth” and “Head back home and get a Chinese hukou now”, while internet users in China also found mirth in her disaster; others tried to console her, saying: “a Mexican passport isn’t so bad, and at least he doesn’t count towards the one-child limit”.|
One-child policy notwithstanding, it’s extremely unlikely that any birth tourist parents can afford a second baby no matter where the mother gave birth anyway. The kid can’t get Chinese household registration so he can receive subsidised government services like health care and public schooling in China where he’s actually going to grow up. He’s not going to speak enough English to succeed in an international school, even if the parents have enough money left to pay tuition in one after the immigration broker’s fees, which can run upwards of RMB100,000.
And for all the kids with U.S. passports instead of Mexican ones, they can’t sponsor their parents for a family reunification green card until turning 21, but in the meantime they have decades of FBARs, Form 8621s, and bank account opening refusals to look forward to, to make sure they pay their “fair share” for all the U.S. services they and their parents can’t use.