As it stands, “birth tourism” is perfectly legal in Canada. This means that someone from another country can come to Canada while pregnant, have a baby, and the baby will be a Canadian citizen.
A growing number of Canadians, however, want federal lawmakers to take a closer look at the practice. According to a study conducted by Research Co., 78% of Canadians want a committee to investigate the full extent of “birth tourism” in Canada.
The reason? They believe birthright citizenship allows newly minted Canadians tp gain access to Canada’s education, health care, and social programs. More than half believe “birth tourism” can degrade the value of Canadian citizenship and can displace Canadians from hospitals.
So, how big of a “problem” is this? According to the most recent statistics, the number of births to non-residents is just over 4,000 a year. Nevertheless, that number has doubled since 2012.
Canada is one of only a handful of countries to guarantee jus soli, or “right of soil.” They include Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Lesoto, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, and Uruguay.
According to the survey, 54% of respondents think the Canada should “definitely” or “probably” consider new laws for birthright citizenship. Meanwhile, 34% are fine with the way things are.