In the past, many immigrant parents who crossed the border illegally and
lived in the Rio Grande Valley and other parts of Texas, and whose children
were born in the U.S., easily obtained birth certificates for their U.S.-born
children. But recently the rules have changed.
Some immigrant parents are finding that if they can’t produce a U.S.
driver’s license, visa, or Mexican electoral card, they are unable
to obtain birth certificates for their U.S.-born children.
Children who are born in the United States are entitled by law to U.S.
citizenship, regardless of their parents’ immigration status. However,
Texas authorities have imposed significant barriers that are making it
difficult for some immigrant parents to obtain birth certificates for
their U.S.-born children.
Since 2013, hundreds of immigrant parents along the southern Texas border
have been denied birth certificates for their U.S.-born children. Why?
Because state authorities have tightened up on the types of identification
documents they’re willing to accept from immigrant parents who don’t
have access to U.S.-issued papers.
The denials have increased significantly in recent years after the Obama
administration expanded its efforts to protect millions of undocumented
immigrations from deportation. As a result, hundreds, if not thousands
of parents from Mexico and Central America have been denied birth certificates
for their Texas-born children.
State officials argue that they are hesitant to accept identity documents
that are not supported by reliable forms of identification.
State Registrars Cannot Accept Matriculas
The issue is a state policy, which has been increasingly enforced since
2013, which says that state registrars cannot accept the identification
cards known as
matriculas, which are issued to foreign nationals by local consulates.
This is such an issue in Texas because a significant number of immigrants
don’t have official identification cards issued in their home countries,
or if they did they were stolen along the way – many of them simply
do not have the identification documents that Texas requires.
Under the 14th Amendment, children who are born on U.S. soil are guaranteed
the right to U.S. citizenship, but that doesn’t appear to be the
case in Texas. To combat this point, a lawsuit has been filed against
the state, naming 19 parents and 23 children who were denied birth certificates
in the Rio Grande Valley. The lawsuit alleges that the denials are unconstitutional.
Do you need legal advice regarding an
immigration issue? Contact a Plano immigration attorney from
The Zendeh Del Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team.