Immigrant parents sue Texas for withholding children’s birth certificates


Texas officials battling to keep control of the state’s illegal alien population are back in court, fighting for the state’s strict system of requiring photo IDs from adults seeking to obtain birth certificates for children.

Fox News reported last week that a group of Mexican citizens living in Texas have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Austin, claiming that the state refused birth certificates for 23 children because the parents could not provide proper photo identification as required by state law.

The lawsuit raises concerns that easing identification requirements for illegal aliens only encourages families to come to the United States and have “anchor children” to help an entire family stay in the country.

The parents argue that Texas is violating the 14th Amendment by withholding the birth certificates.  Although the lawsuit doesn’t specifically say the parents are illegal aliens, it’s strongly suggested — alleging at one point that the state’s denial is due to their “immigration status.”

In 2013, Texas local jurisdictions stopped accepting “matriculas,” or identifications issued by Mexican consulates, according to Fox News. They now require immigrants to produce a foreign driver’s license or border ID card.  Passports without a U.S. visa indicating the bearer has entered the country legally are not acceptable identification.

Since illegal immigrants don’t normally possess these documents, advocacy groups are trying to force the state to provide a way for illegal aliens to obtain their citizen children’s birth certificates.

“Our two main objectives: obtain birth certificates for the 23 children and to obtain a clear statement from the state agency as to what people in this situation will have to produce in the future to get their birth certificate,” Efren Olivares, a lawyer with the Texas Civil Rights Project, who also represents the plaintiffs, told Fox News.

Texas is not giving up without a fight.  Chris Van Deussen, press officer for the Texas Department of State Health Services, told Fox News that matriculas are not secure forms of identification.

“The issuer doesn’t verify data or documents that go into them,” he said.


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