Federal Judge Does Nothing to Stop Texas’ Denial of Birth Certificates to U.S. Born Children of Immigrants

Lead Photo: Mexico's consulate-issued matricula ID is no longer being accepted in Texas.
Mexico's consulate-issued matricula ID is no longer being accepted in Texas.
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Being born in the United States is supposed to be enough to grant you citizenship via the 14th Amendment, but Texas apparently has other ideas. In a clear push toward Trump’s ultra right wing vision for US immigration policy, the state has been denying birth certificates to children born to immigrant parents, on the basis that parents cannot produce the form of identification required.

The thing is, Texas recently updated their standards for the types of identification considered acceptable, and now, the commonly used Mexican-consulate issued matricula consular card is no longer allowed.

This may sound like a bullshit course of action that is teeming with xenophobia, but unfortunately, it’s not going away. Last week, a federal judge refused to temporarily stop the hateful policy, according to MSNBC.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman ruled he needed more evidence in the case filed by a group of undocumented immigrants that sued the state in May, in order to have their matricula consular cards accepted as identification. “While the Court is very troubled at the prospect of Texas-born children, and their parents, being denied issuance of a birth certificate … a birth certificate is a vital and important document. As such, Texas has a clear interest in protecting access to that document,” Pitman wrote. He did recognize that this complicated the lives of these children, who cannot be baptized, go to school, or go to the doctor.

Thanu Yakupitiyage of the New York Immigration Coalition told Refinery 29 that Texas’ victory may inspire copycats in other states, but that it’s really just drawing attention from the real issue: immigration reform. “We need to find a path to citizenship,” she said to R29. “These people are not going away, and the solution is not to deny their children birth certificates.”

In the meantime, Pitman should maybe stay off Twitter.