LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — A multi-agency task force will be formed to look into a rash of complaints about so-called ‘maternity hotels’ in Southern California.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to create a multi-agency team who will investigate upwards of 65 ‘maternity tourism’ complaints, mostly in Rowland Heights and Hacienda Heights.
The complaints stem from a growing trend wealthy mothers-to-be, many from Asia, coming to Los Angeles County to have their babies, ensuring that the children are U.S. citizens.
They are spending up to $20,000 to have their babies in the United States.
The practice does not violate federal immigration laws, but local governments can crack down on the hotels for zoning or building code violations.
“This is just an absolutely illegal operation, jeopardizing the health of the mother and the baby,” says Don Knabe, L.A. County Supervisor.
Authorities found a single family home in Chino Hills had been divided into 17 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms and used as a makeshift maternity ward.
The illegal operation was shut down.