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Pregnant women face visa obstacles

Many people in Tennessee have been concerned about changes to U.S. immigration law made by the Trump administration, especially people who are looking to protect their status in the country. People may feel uncertain about the future, especially given the frequent changes and new executive rules that alter the way that visa or green card applications are handled. On Jan. 23, 2020, the administration issued another rule changing the way that visa applicants are treated, this time addressing pregnant women. According to reports, consular officials were directed to deny visas to pregnant women unless they can show a consular officer that they are not coming to the U.S. for the birth or have a legitimate medical need.

While the administration says that it is meant to crack down on people who come to the U.S. only to obtain citizenship for their children born in the country, others say that consular officials are not medical experts who have the knowledge to assess a pregnant woman's health status. Others noted that women who are denied visas based on a consular officer's belief that they are coming to the U.S. for "birth tourism" have no means to appeal the decision legally; they can only apply again for another visa.

Those applicants who say they are coming to the U.S. to obtain medical care for their pregnancy and birth may be required to show that appropriate care is not available near them. They will also need to prove that they have the money to pay for any medical care they receive in the United States.

People who are dealing with the immigration system may be confused by the changes taking place or wonder how they may be affected. An immigration law attorney may help people to navigate the system and work to protect their rights.

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