Last July, one mainland woman went to great lengths to ensure permanent Hong Kong residence for her unborn baby by hiding in the airport for a full week prior to giving birth; she’s now received a six-month jail sentence.
On July 14, the pregnant Xie Maoling, 26, flew from Bangladesh to Hong Kong for a transit stop, after which she was supposed to continue on to Guangzhou. However, the flight was delayed for over 40 minutes with Xie complaining of illness.
Following the delay, she mysteriously vanished for several days — before reappearing on July 21, to implore Dragon Airlines staff to take her to hospital so she could give birth. The Immigration Department then arrested Xie, finding that she lacked valid permits for staying in Hong Kong. At the Tsuen Wan magistrate’s court on Wednesday, Xie confessed to staying illegally for a week inside the airport.
According to the Hospital Authority, there were 254 invalid foreigner emergency deliveries in Hong Kong last year, 98 of which involved women from the mainland. Expecting mothers at least 28 weeks along were once obligated to obtain a letter from a Hong Kong hospital confirming a delivery appointment; however, public hospitals actually stopped allowing even that in 2012, and Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man warns that won’t be changing any time soon.
By Pinky Latt
Previously on this program, a woman from Guangdong concocted a sham marriage with a Hong Kong man in order to get around the ban. Seems preferable to spending an entire week in an airport.