An investigation by the Fuller Project and the Guardian has found that at least 11 migrant mothers were dropped off at the Mexican border, some as a day after giving birth to their U.S. citizen newborns–without their birth certificates.
During the investigation, through several conversations with immigration attorneys who work with asylum seekers and a review of hospital records and legal documents, multiple U.S. citizen newborns were sent to Mexico after their mothers were subject to a Trump-era border ban. Despite President Biden signing many immigration aimed executive orders, they have been slow to rescind the Trump era policy that is allowing removals like this.
The report reveals personal accounts from women who all had similar stories of giving birth in Chula Vista, or another close-to-the-border hospital, and upon being discharged, being released with nothing on the Mexico side of the border. One woman was even discharged with a c-section, an operation that takes a minimum of six weeks to heal from, just a few days after birth. None were given their children’s U.S. birth certificates.
Deportations of this quick nature aren’t that unusual at the border, however, typically immigrants have had a right to be screened for asylum claims and to see an immigration judge if they are likely to face harm upon removal. That was rescinded in the Trump era under Title 42, an order issued during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last March. Title 42 allowed CBP officials to summarily “expel” all migrants who entered the US without authorization, instead of letting them access the legal avenue to request protection, even those seeking asylum.
Activists and immigration reform advocates suspect the number of these kinds of cases are much higher because the vast majority of these expedited “expulsions”, as the Trump administration has called them, have occurred away from the public eye and without the involvement of lawyers.