Jan. 23 (UPI) -- To stamp out what it called "endemic abuses," the Trump administration issued a new rule Thursday to deny U.S. entry to pregnant foreign women who want to have babies in the United States -- so that the newborns receive automatic citizenship.
The White House said the rule aims to protect "the integrity of American citizenship" by ordering the State Department to deny visas to women who intend to enter the United States for "birth tourism" reasons.
Officials said since "birth tourists" usually apply for temporary "B" visas, those will no longer be given to foreign women suspected of harboring such a motive.
Calling birth tourism a "glaring loophole" in the U.S. immigration system, the White House said the rule change will "ultimately protect the United States from the national security risks created by this practice."
The rule does not, however, indicate how U.S. immigration officials will identify "birth tourists" or give criteria for such classification.
A cable to U.S. consular offices says officials cannot directly ask applicants if they are pregnant unless there is a "specific articulable reason," CNN reported. The new policy will take effect Friday, the report added.
President Donald Trump has harshly criticized birthright citizenship, and said last summer he was seriously considering executive action to end the practice. Some Republican lawmakers pushed back against the idea, arguing that such a change can only be made with a constitutional amendment.