LA Targets Korean 'Birth Tourists'

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For certain privileged Korean moms-to-be, their baby’s first gifts aren’t toys, rattles or clothes. It’s U.S. citizenship.

All it takes is $50,000 and a three-month trip to the U.S., but authorities here are about to make things tougher for this unwelcomed crowd they label ``birth tourists.’’

The first and most aggressive clampdown is set to begin in Los Angeles, the top delivery destination among pregnant Korean women.

The crackdown target? Maternity hotels.

``This is just an absolutely illegal operation, jeopardizing the health of the mother and the baby,’’ Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe said last week.

According to county data, more than 60 complaints about maternity homes have been filed in December alone.

One Chinese-operated facility, a large mansion subdivided into 17 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms, was shut down a few weeks ago for code enforcement violations.

The next to go may easily be one of the dozens of birthing hotels run by Koreans in and around downtown Los Angeles.

Read the rest at Korea Times.