Motorists running their soul-sucking, Saturday-morning, strip-mall errands yesterday in Chino Hills, Calif. might have spotted a strange convocation of disgruntled citizens yesterday protesting what they believe is an "illegal Chinese maternity operation," which is reportedly being run out of a residential home perched perniciously on a hilltop, because, really, how else would frightened townspeople lay siege to it in a climactic, Bride of Frankenstein fit of mob madness?
According to the San Bernardino Sun, about 70 people gathered on Saturday at the intersection of Peyton Avenue and Chino Hills Parkway bearing pithy signs that read, "No in Chino Hills" and "No Birth Tourism." Protesters told the Sun that, not only did they object to the idea of a "hotel" being operated in a residential area, but they also weren't sold on the morality of a "maternity motel," where expecting Chinese mothers can come for a pre-labor vacay in beautifully arid Southern California before giving birth to a dual-citizen baby on U.S. soil.
This practice strikes some Chino Hills residents as totally cheating because there's a lot of bureaucratic paperwork that goes into being a U.S. citizen — it's not just a trip to Disneyland and a birth in someone's weirdly crowded home. Chino Hill officials, according to Mayor Art Bennett, are right now dealing with the home's code enforcement issues, not, as some patriotic t-shirt-wearing protesters might hope, the alleged illegal maternity racket.
Complaints ranged from the shrill (super dual-citizen Chinese babies will grow up to take away college spots from homegrown American kids!) to the reasonable (a longtime resident living near the supposed maternity hotel said that the house's septic tank slid down the hill onto her property, totally gunking everything up). Many protesters expressed concern for the women lured to the house under the false pretenses that the idea of a maternity motel is totally on the level. "These women," said one Chino Hills resident, "are coming to the United States under false pretenses...They are finding out about this through a website that instructs them on how to come legally, but that is under false pretenses."
It's completely within bounds for residents to worry that some nefarious citizenship mill is being operated in their hometown. Who wants to be trimming the hedges or mowing the lawn only to slip and fall in a puddle of afterbirth that leaked out of a full-to-bursting septic tank? No one is who, but it might be more socially constructive for protesters to not openly fret about the future possibility of Chinese dual citizens taking spots at top-tier universities away from plain old single citizen Americans because it's an abstract anxiety that sounds just a touch xenophobic.
70 protest alleged ‘maternal hotel' in Chino Hills [The San Bernardino Sun]
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