Recently a Japanese citizen was supposedly asked to take a pregnancy test to prove she was not pregnant before boarding a Hong Kong Express Airways flight to Saipan, a U.S. island part of the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific.
The name of the Japanese citizen is Midori Nishida, she had an unexpected experience when trying to board her flight from Hong Kong to Saipan, a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean, and she had to undergo a pregnancy test.
As per the latest updates for US tourists, Just before boarding, Nishida was guided to the restroom and handed a pregnancy test kit and was told, If she wanted to board the flight, she had to urinate on it.
❍ Pregnancy Test for United States Tour
This condition was imposed on seeing the problem of citizenship; people very often travel to the US for birthright citizenship in the USA. Saipan is a part of the Northern Mariana Islands and in 2018 more babies were born to tourists than to residents. Saipan is open to Chinese citizens without a visa. Many people are using that visa-free loophole to gain U.S. citizenship for their children. The number of babies born to Chinese tourists was on the high increase from 12 in 2009 to 575 in 2018.
It is not that pregnant Asians cannot travel to the US, but pregnant foreigners are allowed in the USA, even if they are travelling deliberately to the USA to give birth. But on some conditions, firstly, they cannot lie to immigration officials about it and secondly, they must show they have sufficient funds to pay for the birth and a return ticket. Visa-free stays in Saipan for Chinese citizens is limited to 14 days (reduced in 2017 from 45 days). Apart from this, there is also the health risk of a woman travelling for a long duration and late travelling in her pregnancy.
But the question arose why Nishida was chosen for additional screening because she had also indicated that she was not pregnant in a check-in questionnaire, but on observation by the staff, it appeared that she was pregnant looking to resemble a pregnant woman in body shape.
Anyhow, the test was negative but Nishida was quite embarrassed, and she boarded her flight as already planned.
HK Express safeguarded its general policy of screening potentially pregnant passengers by the below-mentioned condition:
Airlines took such actions on flights to Saipan from February 2019, in response to apprehension raised by authorities in Saipan, to help and ensure U.S. immigration laws.
But soon after the chaos came into action from this incident, this clause has been immediately suspended for the practice of requiring pregnant-looking female passengers to submit to screening.
❍ Latest Updates For US Tourists
No doubt, this is a dangerous issue that affects airlines but involve a deeper political discussion. But still, the matter is in question, should foreigners be allowed to take advantage of birthright citizenship in the USA by deliberately travelling to the USA to give birth? On the contrary to it, how can airlines be more sensitive to U.S. immigration concerns on behalf of respecting the privacy and dignity of passengers like Nishida?