Chino Hills residents are angry about a large house in the city that appears to be an illegal Chinese maternity operation where a number of undocumented women are giving birth.
As the San Gabriel Valley Tribune noted, the women reportedly come to the house in their last semester while concealing their pregnancies from US customs officials. The babies are born as US citizens.
Chino Hills mayor Art Bennett said the city’s code enforcement officials have been to the alleged illegal hospital last week when they noticed new construction.
“There was a lot of improvements to make individual rooms,” Bennett said, “and they found out upon further investigation that they were renting those rooms out as motel rooms to bring in Chinese expectant mothers to the United States and these people are paying substantial fees to stay in that residence until they have their child.”
Chino Hills neighbors of the alleged maternity hotel said they noticed many people coming in and out of the hose, and code enforcement officers said 2,000 gallons of sewage was discharged from the home since September.
The maternity hotel drew dozens of people who showed up to the Chino Hills neighborhood to protest, the Los Angeles Times noted.
Close to 70 people participated in the protest that was organized by Not in Chino Hills, a group that is trying to shut down the maternity hotel, The Whittier Daily News reported. The protesters spoke out against the illegal hospital and held up various signs, including one that read “No Birth Tourism.”
Southern California has become a popular hub for what is known as birthing tourism, the Los Angeles Times noted. It is legal for pregnant women to travel to the US to give birth, where the child would automatically become a US citizen, and many of these birthing centers even advertise in wealthier Chinese cities.
The Chino Hills maternity hotel isn’t the only illegal hospital serving as a birthing center. In March, code enforcement officials in San Gabriel closed three identical townhouses serving as unlicensed birthing centers.