Pregnant woman sparks outrage after boasting about her ‘citizenship hack’: ‘New age colonialism’

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By Padraig Collins for Daily Mail Australia

10:17 November 5, 2023, updated 12:57 November 5, 2023

A pregnant Australian woman who went to Central America to give birth so her family could gain dual citizenship has been slammed for using ‘white privilege’ with her ‘birth tourism citizenship hack’.

Instagram influencer Shannen Michaela posted a video promoting “Jus Soli” — Latin for law of the soil — meaning a country’s citizenship is based on birth there for more than 30 countries, including Costa Rica and the USA

“Birthright citizenship is the most accessible way to obtain an additional passport,” she said. ‘It is an investment in your family, your child’s future and the generations to come.’

But Michaela has been accused of ‘new age colonialism’ and being ‘privileged’ in the comments below her Instagram post.

“This is serious ‘What’s classy when you’re rich, but messy when you’re poor’ vibe,” another commenter wrote.

Instagram influencer Shannen Michaela (pictured with her baby) posted a video promoting ‘Jus Soli’ – Latin for Soil Law – meaning a country’s citizenship is based on being born there

The influencer explained how “birth tourism” involved traveling abroad to give birth in order to “give your child a second citizenship at birth, even if you as a parent are not a resident of that country.”

“In many countries, parents also receive permanent residency with a pathway to citizenship,” she said.

READ MORE: Australia’s citizenship test deemed too tough

“Essentially it’s a legal form of immigration and there are 31 countries that grant birthright rights in this way.”

Most of these 31 countries are in North, Central and South America, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.

The list also includes countries in the Caribbean such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Lesotho in southern Africa and Fiji in the Pacific.

Holding up Costa Rican, British and Australian passports, Michaela said: “More and more people are leaving the West and looking for a Plan B.

‘With an extra passport you always have an alternative place to go.’

She said obtaining a second citizenship is a “protection in case someone tries to restrict your freedom of movement.”

The Instagram star said it also had financial benefits for families because “you can choose which tax systems you want to be part of and diversify your wealth.”

Encouraging people to use the citizenship hack more than once, Michaela said: ‘Freedom of travel is personal freedom and the more passports you collect, the more opportunities you create for you and your family, including generations to come.’

Shannen Michaela (pictured) has been accused of ‘new age colonialism’ and being ‘privileged’ in comments under her Instagram post

But her video and message were mainly met with outrage online, with one poster reading: “These are essentially baby instructions for rich people.”

Another said it was “like smuggling, but babies?”

The fact that the influencer appears to be doing well has rubbed many the wrong way, with a poster stating: ‘If you are rich it is called Jus Soli and viewed positively, if you are poor it becomes an anchor baby mentioned and is looked down upon.’

Another said, “but if Hispanics do it, it’s bad.”

One of the most outraged posters spoke for many, writing, “So you’re going to use a country’s tax dollars (that you NEVER contributed to) for your personal benefit (probably at least middle class wealth)?

Michaela held up Costa Rican, British and Australian passports (pictured) and said: ‘More and more people are leaving the West and looking for a Plan B

“Sounds like quite a financial abuse for the people living in that country.”

The idea that Michaela was taking advantage of white privilege in what she did also led to many uncomplimentary comments.

“It’s crazy that white people can advertise having anchor babies in our countries in Latin America, but as soon as the Latinos try to enter white countries they get shot at the border,” one person wrote.

“Yes, this is only seen as positive if you are rich and privileged, honey,” said another.

READ MORE: Up to 350,000 foreigners will get direct access to Australian citizenship as Anthony Albanese announces major rule change

Up to 350,000 people will be able to apply directly for Australian citizenship without having to first obtain permanent residency.

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