A pregnant woman poses for a picture in Downtown Beirut, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. (The Daily Star/Grace Kassab)
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"American citizenship is the best in the world," said a woman who identifies herself as Karen over the phone, as her 1-month-old son gurgled in the background.It was this opinion that prompted Karen, then 36 weeks pregnant, to travel to the United States to give birth on American soil so that her child could have a U.S. passport. It may seem extreme, but, like many people in Lebanon, Karen sees American citizenship as an invaluable tool for navigating the world today.The U.S. is not the only place being targeted by Lebanese birth tourists. Of around 30 countries in the world that have birthright citizenship enshrined in law, Canada appears to be just as popular. As in the U.S., the issue sparked a huge debate in Canada – still ongoing – about citizenship rights, with the subject of birthright citizenship coming under particular scrutiny.
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