Judge Rules That Texas Can Deny Birth Certificates to Immigrants' Children 


Today in terrible news out of Texas: U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman has denied an injunction sought by immigrant families seeking birth certificates for their children after the state refused to recognize foreign-issued passports and other documentation as acceptable forms of parental identification.

Beginning in 2013, Texas refused to accept identification cards issued by the Mexican consulate to citizens living in the United States, as well as foreign passports without visas, to obtain birth certificates for children born in-state. Prior to 2013, these were considered acceptable forms of identification for immigrant parents with Texas-born children. The Associated Press reports that the families argued that “the children’s right to health care, travel, and schooling—along with parental rights—are being harmed.”

Judge Pitman rejected that argument, questioning the “integrity” of Mexican-issued identification. Pitman wrote in his decision: “A birth certificate is a vital and important document. As such, Texas has a clear interest in protecting access to that document.” Pitman essentially confirmed that a class of Texas-born children have no right to a state-issued birth certificate.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a man recently indicted for felony fraud, said the ruling “is an important first step in ensuring the integrity of birth certificates,” and reiterated his commitment to defending the decision. The case will continue to make its way through the courts. In the meantime, Texas is free to deny birth certificates to American-born children.

Image via AP.

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