Constitutional Law

Baby born on China Airlines flight diverted to Alaska eligible for US citizenship, official says

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A Taiwanese woman who gave birth on Oct. 8 aboard a China Airlines flight to Los Angeles that was diverted to Alaska may have succeeded in what local media in Taiwan have portrayed as an effort to gain U.S. citizenship for the baby.

A state official in Alaska says an infant born in flight is eligible for U.S. citizenship, if that is where the flight first touches down, even if the mother gave birth in international air space, reports the Associated Press.

A report by the China Times that the unidentified woman repeatedly asked “Are we in U.S. air space?” as she was in labor could not be confirmed, the AP says.

It hasn’t yet been decided whether the airline’s insurer will try to hold the mother for the estimated $33,000 cost of diverting to Alaska.

The woman was 36 weeks pregnant but told airline crew she was 32 weeks pregnant, according to the AP’s translation of the China Times, thus avoiding a requirement for a doctor’s certificate for women who are 36 weeks pregnant and want to fly.

The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides for birthright citizenship, an American Civil Liberties Union Web page on efforts to curtail birthright citizenship notes.

See also: “Birthing Center for Chinese ‘Maternity Tourists’ Is Shut Down in California”

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