The Canadian Conservative Party is calling for changes to a law that says all those born in Canadian soil have the right of Canadian citizenship. The highly debated law gives the right of citizenship to babies born in Canada, even if their parents are not Canadian citizens.
The Conservatives, which is one of the three main parties in Canada voted last Saturday at the party’s convention in Halifax to end a birthright citizenship. Alice Wong, British Columbia MP said in front of a 3,000-people crowd that the “passport babies” are taking away resources from Canada’s system.
Critics of this law have often referred to these babies as “passport babies” and to the phenomenon as “birth tourism”.
Currently, 22% of babies born in the province of British Columbia, are born by tourist moms, who enter the country coinciding with their due date. The highest group nationality of foreign moms giving birth in B.C is Chinese. According to 2016 figures, the population of the province is about 4.8 million and 1.4 million are Chinese.
Andrew Griffith, the former Director General at Citizenship and Immigration said for the media that basically, such an activity is citizenship by fraud.
“People are coming on a visa under false pretenses and just coming for the opportunity to provide citizenship for their kid (and) it is a form of fraud and misrepresentation,” he said.
Earlier in March, a B.C. resident named Kerry Starchuk, had started a petition to urge the government to end the policy. The policy, aside of granting the children with benefits like healthcare and education, permits these children to sponsor their parents to Canada, once they become adults.
Is not the first time the Conservatives tried to end this policy. In 2014, the immigration officials had called in the Canadian government of that time to put an end to this practice by scrapping the “birth by citizenship” law. If the Conservative party wins the 2019 federal election, they will surely put an end to the existing passport babies’ policy.