FBI agents raided a Hallandale Beach business Wednesday morning that specializes in providing pregnant mothers from foreign counties the option to have their babies born in America to obtain citizenship.
Agents were seen at the offices of Miami Mama LLC, located inside an office building at 1250 E. Hallandale Beach Boulevard, Wednesday morning. The FBI confirmed that they were conducting "law enforcement activity in the vicinity" of the Broward County building but gave no other information.
An NBC 6 viewer said members of the agency had the hallway blocked off leading into the company’s offices. Agents were seen coming out of the building with boxes of files and paperwork.
The company’s website says they have been operating in Miami since 2009 and are are the first in Miami for “Russian women who want to give birth to their child in the best climate and with the best quality of health care."
The company offers packages ranging from just under $20,000 to over $53,000 that include all the medicines and procedures that come along with childbirth. They charge more for those who get Cesarean sections, while assisting in finding housing, opening U.S. bank accounts and obtaining documents such as Social Security cards, birth certificates and other documents needed for the child, the website says.
NBC 6 has tried calling the number on the company's website as well as a previous owner but has been unable to get any official response on why the FBI was there Wednesday.
NBC 6 spoke to the office manager for a local doctor listed on Miami Mama's website. The office manager said the doctor delivered four to five babies for the company but hadn't done so in about a year, expressing concern shared by a Russian client about the company's reputation and high turnover rate of employees.
According to U.S. immigration law, anyone who lies about the purpose of their visit can be charged with visa fraud, but birth tourism is not technically illegal.