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Dispatches Human Race

Human Race

Every year, hundreds of pregnant Russian women travel to the United States to give birth so that their children can acquire all the privileges of American citizenship. (Iuliia Stashevska/AP)

White House: No more birth tourism to the United States

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION on Jan. 23 published new visa rules to restrict pregnant women traveling to the United States to give birth so their children would gain U.S. citizenship. The State Department “does not believe that visiting the United States for the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child, by giving birth in the United States—an activity commonly referred to as ‘birth tourism’—is a legitimate activity for pleasure or of a recreational nature,” according to the new rules. Consular officers will deny tourist visas if they determine a woman is coming to the country primarily to give birth. Women can still travel to the United States to give birth for medical reasons but must prove they can pay for any expenses.

Proposed

UTAH GOV. GARY HERBERT, a Republican, called on state regulators to make a rule against so-called conversion therapy for minors after a legislative proposal failed. Officials confirmed that they finalized the rule on Jan. 21, making Utah the 19th state to prohibit therapy aimed at changing minors’ sexual orientation, even if they ask for it. Mormon leaders opposed the proposed legislation because it didn’t include certain exceptions for clergy, so the state worked out new compromises in the regulation version. The rule won the support of Mormon leadership with assurances that religious leaders and LDS therapists could still provide spiritual counseling for members.

Died

JIM LEHRER, longtime host of the PBS NewsHour, died on Jan. 23 at age 85. In addition to anchoring NewsHour, Lehrer moderated 12 presidential debates, including all of the debates in 1996 and 2000. After service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Lehrer worked 11 years at The Dallas Morning News and other newspapers before making the jump to television. “Jim reported the news with a clear sense of purpose and integrity—even as the world of media changed around him,” NewsHour journalist Anne Azzi Davenport wrote.

Warned

RESIDENTS OF SOUTH FLORIDA received an unusual warning from the National Weather Service in Miami on Jan. 21: “This isn’t something we usually forecast, but don’t be surprised if you see iguanas falling from the trees tonight as lows drop into the 30s and 40s. Brrrr!” Low temperatures stun the lizards, causing them to fall from the trees, but they won’t necessarily die. Many of them woke up as temperatures rose the next day. Male iguanas can weigh nearly 20 pounds.