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The JR Motel in Orange has been acting as a birth tourism venue, catering to Chinese moms who travel to Orange County to deliver American babies.


But thats not what the property at 428 E. Lincoln Avenue was approved for in 2015, when it received a permit to operate as a motel.


On Monday, March 2, the Orange Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing to consider shutting down the motel.


City officials, who began investigating the motel last year, said the motel owners violated building codes, fire codes and other regulations by subdividing rooms, installing a large industrial kitchen and making other changes without the proper permits. The facility which had no hotel sign outside and does not take reservations is acting as a boarding house, and not a motel, city staff said.


On Dec. 16, the Orange planning commission voted to schedule a public hearing to consider taking away the motels permit. If it chooses Monday night to revoke the JR Motels permit, the commission would then forward its recommendation to the City Council for a final decision.


Motel owner Chih Huang and his attorney, Tony Lu, have said that the city is discriminating against the facility because of its role in the controversial but legal birth tourism industry. Saying the owner has corrected the motels structural violations, Lu objected to some of the citys more recent demands, including turning over information to the city on all the guests staying at the motel.


Its unclear how many people travel from abroad to have their babies in the United States and then return home, but the practice is not illegal and its popular among some wealthy foreigners. Spots like Irvine, the greater Los Angeles area and the Northern Mariana Islands, for example, are popular with Chinese families. South Florida, meanwhile, has been popular with wealthy Russian families.


Pregnant women pay companies tens of thousands of dollars to be taken care of while they are in the United States. Sometimes they stay in so-called maternity hotels. The packages include housing and food and outings. Some of the pricier packages, in the $80,000 range, can include trips to Disneyland and other field trips.


While legal, the practice has come under fire. It has stoked resentment by many who say foreigners are taking advantage of the United States birthright citizenship rights, which under the 14th Amendment entitle all who are born on American soil to U.S. citizenship.  The practice also has been abused by some tourists who lie to immigration officials which is a crime when asked about why theyre seeking a visa, and by some operators who scheme to help their clients lie.


In 2015, a first-of-its-kind federal raid across Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties led to indictments and arrests involving three birth tourism companies operating locally. To date, the raids have led to two convictions: an Irvine attorney was convicted of obstruction of justice in 2015 for allegedly accepting money to help one of the Chinese women, who was a material witness, leave the country; and last December, one of the birth tourism operators was sentenced to a 10-month prison term. Dongyuan Li, who lived in Irvine, is believed to be the first birth tourism operator to be convicted of helping foreign nationals commit immigration and visa fraud.


Source: https://www.eastbaytimes.com


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Birth Tourism Hotel for Chinese Moms in US Gets Second Look

Tap "WorldWire" above  to follow us




The JR Motel in Orange has been acting as a birth tourism venue, catering to Chinese moms who travel to Orange County to deliver American babies.


But thats not what the property at 428 E. Lincoln Avenue was approved for in 2015, when it received a permit to operate as a motel.


On Monday, March 2, the Orange Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing to consider shutting down the motel.


City officials, who began investigating the motel last year, said the motel owners violated building codes, fire codes and other regulations by subdividing rooms, installing a large industrial kitchen and making other changes without the proper permits. The facility which had no hotel sign outside and does not take reservations is acting as a boarding house, and not a motel, city staff said.


On Dec. 16, the Orange planning commission voted to schedule a public hearing to consider taking away the motels permit. If it chooses Monday night to revoke the JR Motels permit, the commission would then forward its recommendation to the City Council for a final decision.


Motel owner Chih Huang and his attorney, Tony Lu, have said that the city is discriminating against the facility because of its role in the controversial but legal birth tourism industry. Saying the owner has corrected the motels structural violations, Lu objected to some of the citys more recent demands, including turning over information to the city on all the guests staying at the motel.


Its unclear how many people travel from abroad to have their babies in the United States and then return home, but the practice is not illegal and its popular among some wealthy foreigners. Spots like Irvine, the greater Los Angeles area and the Northern Mariana Islands, for example, are popular with Chinese families. South Florida, meanwhile, has been popular with wealthy Russian families.


Pregnant women pay companies tens of thousands of dollars to be taken care of while they are in the United States. Sometimes they stay in so-called maternity hotels. The packages include housing and food and outings. Some of the pricier packages, in the $80,000 range, can include trips to Disneyland and other field trips.


While legal, the practice has come under fire. It has stoked resentment by many who say foreigners are taking advantage of the United States birthright citizenship rights, which under the 14th Amendment entitle all who are born on American soil to U.S. citizenship.  The practice also has been abused by some tourists who lie to immigration officials which is a crime when asked about why theyre seeking a visa, and by some operators who scheme to help their clients lie.


In 2015, a first-of-its-kind federal raid across Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties led to indictments and arrests involving three birth tourism companies operating locally. To date, the raids have led to two convictions: an Irvine attorney was convicted of obstruction of justice in 2015 for allegedly accepting money to help one of the Chinese women, who was a material witness, leave the country; and last December, one of the birth tourism operators was sentenced to a 10-month prison term. Dongyuan Li, who lived in Irvine, is believed to be the first birth tourism operator to be convicted of helping foreign nationals commit immigration and visa fraud.


Source: https://www.eastbaytimes.com


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