The Chinese woman behind the birth-tourism scheme was sentenced to ten months in prison after she was arrested for her role in a business that helped pregnant Chinese women come to the US to give birth to their children. The wide ranging 'birth tourism' plan has allowed several children get the US passport.
A US district judge issued the sentence to Dongyuan Li, the owner of the tourism company 'You Win USA'. The present sentence would mean that she would be let go later on Monday. Li has been held for the past few months, which will be taken into account as prison term. Li was arrested earlier this year along with others for holding such tourism opportunities.
The women would lie to the immigration officials that they are traveling to stay for two weeks and stay in USA till they gave birth to the child. The women had accommodation in high end apartments in Irvine, California where they stayed till they gave birth to the child. This would allow the children to have a US citizenship based on jus soli.
Federal Prosecution disappointed with the sentence
Prosecutor Charles Pell told the District Judge James Selna that he believed that this would give out the wrong message. Li's tourism agency had helped around 500 women give birth in the US. The present sentence given to Li is considered to be the lightest sentence possible by the prosecution. They said that the woman should be given years in prison to deter similar activities from happening again.
Li, a mother of four, was in tears
As the sentence was being handed out, Li was in tears. She was a customer to the tourism was later involved in the business. Between the years of 2013 to 2015, she received around $40,000 to $80,000 from each customer. The tourism was able to let the children's family to immigrate to USA. Last week, Li had written an apology to the court which detailed on her role in the scheme.
According to Dan Showalter, a supervisory special agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) homeland-security investigations in Los Angeles, Li had a valid visa but the immigration officials will work on the deportation proceedings as soon as the she is released.
China, Russia and several other countries
The countries involved in similar immigration tourism are Russia, China and Nigeria. Although the list is much larger there are reports about women from these countries being involved with birth tourism. The reports about Li's tourism came after extensive investigation.