Feds Raid ‘Maternity Hotels’ Used to Birth US Citizens

Federal agents raided about 20 Southern California locations on Tuesday suspected of involvement in “maternity tourism” schemes offering travel and lodging services to pregnant foreign women seeking to give birth in the United States, U.S. immigration officials said.

Authorities say the so-called maternity hotels targeted in the sweep catered largely to women from China who paid $15,000 to $50,000, depending on services provided, in hopes of obtaining U.S. citizenship for their children.

The locations searched included apartment complexes and other sites in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties that were suspected of housing foreign clients, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, or ICE.

No criminal arrests were anticipated from Tuesday’s raids, which were carried out by federal agents and local law enforcement, the agency said.