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Texas Denies Birth Certificates To U.S. Born Children

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Children born in the United States are typically entitled by law to U.S. Citizenship regardless of the immigration status of their parents. However, Texas has complicated the process for undocumented immigrants seeking birth certificates for their U.S. born children. Texas state authorities have made it difficult to use alternative identification for parents who do not have access to U.S. issued papers.

As a result of this situation, hundreds, and possibly thousands of parents from Mexico and Central America have recently been denied birth certificates for their Texas-born children. Texas state officials have justified their methods by claiming that they have always been hesitant to accept alternative identity documents as there is always a risk of unreliability.

The implementation of such stringent identification requirements in Texas may cause a severe backlash as many immigrants in the country illegally- who do not have official identification cards issued in their home country -do not have the level of identification that is required in Texas.

A lawsuit was filed in May on behalf of 19 parents of 23 children who were denied birth certificates in the Rio Grande Valley. The lawsuit alleges that these denials are unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment which guarantees the right to citizenship for children born on U.S. soil. The lawsuit also states these are discriminatory political tactic practices, and demands that the judge enforce the state to comply with federal law. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs stated that Texas is using these new identification requirements as a means of combating Obama’s new immigration policy.

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