World Bulletin / News Desk
Some who are pregnant enter Canada coinciding with their due date, because a child born on Canadian soil is automatically awarded Canadian citizenship, regardless of the citizenship of the mother.
“It is basically using fraud to get citizenship for a child,” former Director General at Citizenship and Immigration, Andrew Griffith, told media. “People are coming on a visa under false pretences and just coming for the opportunity to provide citizenship for their kid (and) it is a form of fraud and misrepresentation.”
While some say so-called “passport babies” is not a problem, statistics kept on births in the west coast province of British Columbia (B.C.) paint a different picture.
According to the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, in the city of Richmond alone, 22.2 percent of all births, or 469, last year in the Richmond hospital were to non-resident mothers, the majority to Chinese nationals. The previous year the figure was 17.2 percent, or 383. Richmond has a population of about 203,000.
“It’s arguably crowding out (hospital) space and facilities for residents of Canada,” Griffith said. “So, there is a real issue there in Richmond, B.C. and other localities.”
The population of the province is about 4.8 million and 1.4 million are Chinese (2016 figures).
The problem is severe enough that at the Aug. 25 convention of the Conservative Party of Canada – one of Canada’s three major political parties – delegates voted to end the birthright citizenship policy that grants automatic citizenship to babies born within Canada’s boundaries.
Presumably, if Conservatives win the 2019 federal election displacing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, the existing passport babies policy will be ended.
“Ending birth tourism will be among the objectives of our policy,” Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said in a statement.
“Conservatives recognize there are many Canadians who have been born in Canada by parents who have come here to stay and have contributed greatly to our country. I will not end the core policy that facilitates this. Unlike Justin Trudeau, I will safeguard it against abuse.”