Chapter 6 Chinese Maternity Tourists and Their "Anchor Babies"? Disdain and Racialized Conditional Acceptance of Non-Citizen Reproduction
Marginalized Mothers, Mothering from the margins
Emerald Publishing Limited
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The Internet is a site of particularly potent discourses demonizing undocumented immigrants (Bloch, 2014; Flores-Yeffal, Vidales, & Plemons, 2011; Sohoni, 2006). Anti-immigrant discourses have long constructed Latina immigrant mothers as bearing “anchor babies” and burdens to the state. Representing a distinct case of non-citizen reproduction, online news sources began reporting on Chinese maternity tourism in 2011. This form of maternity tourism allegedly involves wealthy tourists visiting the United States to give birth to their children on US soil. In this chapter, I analyze online comments in response to Chinese maternity tourism. I ask, how do online commenters make sense of Chinese maternity tourism? I find that online commenters overwhelmingly demonize Chinese maternity tourism by including this practice into broader debates about “anchor babies” and the reforming of birthright citizenship. Some commenters also use race-specific tropes and malleable claims about class to construct the children of Chinese maternity tourists as a paradoxical asset or threat to the country, often comparing them to the children of undocumented Latina mothers. When commenters employ Asian-specific stereotypes, some commenters offer a racialized conditional acceptance of maternity tourism, revealing that while citizenship is policed among the citizenry, it can also be expanded precariously and problematically.
Chinese maternity tourism; Birthright citizenship; Asian Americans; Online discourse; Anchor babies; Immigrants
Chinese Studies | Immigration Law
Chapter 6 Chinese Maternity Tourists and Their "Anchor Babies"? Disdain and Racialized Conditional Acceptance of Non-Citizen Reproduction.
Marginalized Mothers, Mothering from the margins, 25
Emerald Publishing Limited.