The Argentineanan federal police broke up a crime ring on Thursday in the Puerto Madero neighborhood of Buenos Aires that was bringing pregnant Russian women to Argentina in order to birth their children within Argentina's borders and thus become citizens, according to a Saturday report from Argentinean newspaper Clarin.
The group was reportedly charging the women up to $35,000 in exchange for expedited citizenship and resources for childbirth.
A raid was carried out last Thursday by Argentinean security forces at luxury apartments in Puerto Madero. According to local reports as well as the BBC, authorities made no arrests. They did, however, seize funds, notebooks and immigration documents.
According to police sources who spoke to Clarin, the group charged between $20,000 and $35,000 for their services to wealthy families living under Russian President Vladimir Putin's rule.
“We are delighted that they come to live in Argentina, but the problem is that they arrive, have children, enroll them as Argentineans, designate a power of attorney to their parents, leave [the country] and never come back.”Florencia Carignano, National Director of Migrations
Russian women have been traveling to Argentina to give birth since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine nearly a year ago, according to a Sunday report in the Argentinean newspaper El Pais. Argentinean immigration authorities, according to El Pais, estimate that about 10,500 women have made the trip thus far, and 70% of women who come to Argentina to give birth only stay for a few months - just enough time for their child to obtain an Argentinean passport.
“The amount is really big each day. Last night, on the last flight of [Ethiopian airlines], 33 Russian citizens entered who were between 32 and 33 weeks pregnant,” the National Director of Migrations, Florencia Carignano, said on a recent TV interview, according to El Pais. “We are delighted that they come to live in Argentina, but the problem is that they arrive, have children, enroll them as Argentineans, designate a power of attorney to their parents, leave [the country] and never come back. There are people here who are using our passport, ” she said.
The Guardian reported on Friday that two pregnant Russian women were being held in the Buenos Aires airport, unable to get through passport control. “They are not under arrest,” a spokesperson for the immigration authorities told The Guardian.