The criteria, immigrant advocates say, are highly subjective, potentially discriminatory and open to abuse.
Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst for the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, said consular officers already had broad leeway in granting visas, but the new rules could put "significant pressure" on officers to vet more stringently.
"This has been a pet issue for certain conservative individuals and for this administration," she said.
The Center for Immigration Studies, the conservative group, said the new rules were an "appropriate response to the thousands of births resulting from fraud," but the group called on additional steps, including judicial action to "clarify" the constitutional protection of citizenship.
In a statement, the White House said the change in rules was necessary to enhance public safety, national security and the integrity of our immigration system.
"The birth tourism industry threatens to overburden valuable hospital resources and is rife with criminal activity," the statement said.
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