The Mexican government has told Texas that they had better start issuing birth certificates to the children of illegal immigrants–or risk lousing up the entire relationship between the U.S. government and Mexico.
Mexico has accused Texas of trying to deny citizenship to the so-called “anchor babies”–children born in America to illegal immigrants, who should automatically receive citizenship at birth because of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In order to obtain a birth certificate in Texas, a parent has to show two forms of identification.
But while illegal immigrants may have a Mexican passport, their other form of government-issued ID is a “matricula,” a special identification card given to illegal immigrants by the Mexican consulate.
But Texas does not recognize matriculas as a valid form of identification. Some Texas country registrars offices are even refusing to accept anything short of a U.S. visa or a U.S. ID card in order to obtain a birth certificate.
Right now, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of six children by their illegal parents, who came from Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.
The lawsuit alleges that Texas is violating the Fourteenth Amendment by denying citizenship to children born on U.S. soil.
But Texas claims the ability to choose which IDs to accept is a state issue, and has claimed that not accepting consulated-issued ID cards, like matriculas, is a long-standing policy.
Attorney Jennifer Harbury, who is representing the illegal immigrant families, said that the issue isn’t just whether or not matriculas should be accepted–but whether or not Texas is being fair.
“The argument is ‘what will you take that people can actually get?’” she said. “They have to take something. [The children] were born here. They are U.S. citizens.”