There has been an influx of affluent Brazilian families coming to Miami to bear their children due to the deep recession, swelling unemployment and crime rising in Brazil, and the prospect of high quality healthcare and the guarantee of automatic citizenship for the babies born on U.S. soil.

These Brazilians have generally been able to come and bear their children in the United States under the radar of the growing controversy over immigrants who critics say are flocking here to have “anchor babies”. These children born to non-U.S. parents on American soil are referred to as “anchor babies” due to the fact that the U.S. Constitution grants U.S. citizenship to anyone born on American soil. When these children turn 21, they are able to sponsor their non-U.S. parents for green cards and U.S. citizenship.

While maternity tourism is legal in the U.S. as long as the expectant mother enters the United States with the necessary documentation and complies with U.S. law, it has come under fire. For example, in March, federal investigators raided Southern California businesses on suspicion of crimes in connection with helping wealth Chinese nationals travel to the Unted States to bear their children on American soil.