by Countable | 8.31.18
What’s the story?
- The U.S. State Department is denying passports to a growing number of Latino Americans with birth certificates showing they were born in the United States.
- This includes a 40-year-old who says he was born in the U.S., delivered by a midwife in southern Texas, and served in the Army, Border Patrol, and state prison system.
“I served my country. I fought for my country,” the man told the Washington Post, which broke the story.
Why are the passports being denied? What’s the State Dept. saying?
- The Trump administration alleges that between the 1950s and 1990s, midwives and some physicians in the south Texas region provided fraudulent birth certificates to babies who were actually born in Mexico.
- The State Dept. said applicants “who have birth certificates filed by a midwife or other birth attendant suspected of having engaged in fraudulent activities, as well as applicants who have both a U.S. and foreign birth certificate, are asked to provide additional documentation establishing they were born in the United States.”
“Individuals who are unable to demonstrate that they were born in the United States are denied issuance of a passport,” the State Dept. added.
What are Democrats saying?
- Congressional Democrats are calling for hearings into the policy, with Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) arguing:
“This represents an unacceptable targeting of people based on their ethnic heritage. It violates the constitution. It should be investigated by Congress in both chambers, and we should take action to stop it as soon as possible through legislation if necessary.”
- “Americans are being held, targeted, and denied their rights because of the color of their skin,” tweeted Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. “This is a disgrace to our democracy and a vicious assault on our community. We must make our voices heard. These families are counting on us.”
What do you think?
Do you support the State Department denying passports to citizens it suspects of fraud? Why or why not? Hit Take Action to tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Stefano Spicca)