MIAMI — A growing number of Russian women are choosing to visit Miami, not just for its sunny beaches and sexy nightclub scene, but to give birth.
Miami has apparently become a hotspot to have children as number of women have taken to social media to show off their newly minted American tykes.
“It’s really common,” Ekaterina Kuznetsova, 29, told NBC News. “When I was taking the plane to come here, it was not only me. It was four or five women flying here.”
These, however, are not merely anchor babies, in Trump terms. Russian women are spending thousands of dollars to stay in Miami for several months before giving birth.
“American passport is a big plus for the baby. Why not?” Olesia Reshetova, 31, said. “It’s a very comfortable place for staying in wintertime.”
These new Moscow moms are being joined in the U.S. by an increasing number of Chinese women who have flocked to California to have babies. There is no legal issue with a foreign resident having a baby in the U.S. as the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution states that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States.”
Children born to Russian mothers in Miami are entitled to live and work in the U.S., as well as sponsor their parents’ application for a green card after they turn 21.
Though Trump has decried the practice, he has no legal standing to prohibit women from birthing babies in the U.S., and ironically, Trump properties like the Trump Royale in Sunny Isles, are popular among foreign women traveling to the U.S. to give birth, which means the president is indirectly profiting from what he calls “chain migration.”
According to The Daily Beast, “The Florida Trump properties are convenient options for wealthy Russians who can afford it. They are notorious for being investment properties for Russia’s hyper-wealthy, a safe place to store savings in U.S. dollars. And birth-tourism companies offer Trump apartments as part of packages costing upwards of $75,000.”
Roman Bokeria, the state director of the Florida Association of Realtors told NBC News that Sunny Isles Beach, also known as the Russian Riviera, is especially popular with Russian birth tourists.
“Sunny Isles beach has a nickname — Little Russia — because people who are moving from Russian-speaking countries to America, they want a familiar environment,” he said. “They go across the street, they have Russian market, Russian doctor, Russian lawyer. It’s very comfortable for them.”
The trend is so popular in fact that one company, Miami Mama, which was founded 11 years ago and brings roughly 100 women over each year, actively helps pregnant Russian women coming to the U.S. The company offers a variety of packages, ranging from $7,000 to $50,000. Other companies include Status-Med and BabyMiami, which offer short-term leases and medical care for expectant Russian mothers.
“The company has accumulated a colossal experience in the field of medical tourism, which each time is successfully implemented for the benefit of the client,” Miami Mama’s website says.
Owners Irina and Konstantin Lubnevskiy bought the company after using their services to have two children in the U.S.
“We tell every client, ‘You have the documents, you have to tell the truth. This is America. They like the truth here,'” Konstantin said. “I would like the American people to understand they don’t have to worry. Those who come here want to become part of the American people.”
Though data is vague, there are approximately 36,000 babies born to foreign mothers in the U.S. each year, and in Florida, these births have spiked 200 percent since 2000.
Most of the Russian women pay with insurance or have a pre-arranged package.
According to Reshetova, “I pay by myself. I pay with my money, bring it here to America. I’m not going to take something to America. I don’t know what my daughter will choose in future. But if I can spend money — my money — for her choice, why not?”