Canada Mulls Change to Citizenship-by-Birth Law

The Canadian government is considering changes to the current citizenship-by-birth principle, after reports of pregnant women coming to the country to get citizenship for their newborns.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has been quoted as saying the government has been aware that pregnant women are coming to Canada as tourists for the sole purpose of giving birth to a child here.

Under Canadian law, children born here are automatically granted citizenship.

According to Kenney, hospital officials in Montreal, in the province of Quebec, have raised concerns about such anchor-babies, as babies born here for the purpose of citizenship are called.

But Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials acknowledge there are no numbers about the extent of the abuse.

What they say is that there might be number of cases involving Chinese, mostly from Hong Kong.

According to officials, fraudulent immigrant consultants reportedly coach wealthy Chinese to conceal their pregnancy while applying for tourist visas.

The officials would not say whether this practise is prevalent in other communities.

They would also not say what changes they plan to bring to the country’s citizenship laws.


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