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City of Arcadia forms a Task Force to look into the matter
It was reported last week that a motel in Arcadia is allegedly being used as a ‘baby factory’ housing expectant mothers from overseas, in particular China, to have their children born in the United States and thus garner immediate US citizenship for that child.
Reports from several outlets say that the Santa Anita Inn is being used as a “ maternity hotel.”
While the practice is not illegal, it is raising a lot of eyebrows across the San Gabriel Valley.
The Arcadia Weekly has learned that other locations including Extended Stay may also be involved in similar schemes in Arcadia, Monrovia and surrounding cities.
However, Arcadia Asst. City Manager Jason Kruckeberg says that the city is well-aware of what is going on not only at the Santa Anita Inn.
“A number of the rooms over there are being rented by pregnant individuals. They city has been aware of that for quite some time,” Kruckeberg told Beacon Media.” We have started a Task Force with some outside agencies to address this issue…” he said Wednesday.
Kruckeburg said the city has been in contact with Los Angeles County Health dept. as this issue would fall under their jurisdiction; also the city has contacted Franchise Tax Board and the E.E.D for further investigation.
Kruckeberg said that his understanding is that the pregnant women come to the United States on a tourist visa usually when several months pregnant. In many communities, including Arcadia, residential homes have been used as maternity homes, which is against the law without proper permits.
“They typically will have a child here to get American citizenship, so that when the child goes back to whatever county, they have the ability to come back here to go to school, have all the rights of citizenship.”
Kruckeberg says the practice is not actually illegal, while admitting that the city did in fact shut down 4-5 residential facilities within the past year. This issue is zoning regulations as well as health and safety and if the hotel/motel is not compliant, they will be held responsible.
Kruckeberg said people from the city have been in contact with the Santa Anita Inn and found no evidence of a nursery when officials visited, as was reported by KTLA.
Estimated costs for the women run anywhere from $30 – $40,000 for a 3-4 month stay for these expectant mothers. Who is in charge of and receiving these funds remains unknown to the Task Force but Kruckeberg is confident that officials at the state, local and federal level will address these concerns.
We contacted the corporate offices of county Health, Board of Supervisors and Extended Stay, and a few local hospitals , however as of press time, have not received any returned calls.
-Story by Terry Miller