60 and counting… that’s the number of people involved in a lawsuit against the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“I’m fighting for my daughter’s rights.”
We spoke to one of the plaintiffs. She says because of her immigration status state officials won’t issue a birth certificate to her 9-month-old daughter who was born in McAllen, Texas.
“I want them to issue her papers, because she was born here! It’s not logical that they ask for a Texas ID and people don’t get access to one, I don’t have it.”
The lawsuit filed in late may is being led by senior staff attorney Efren Olivares. Due to the urgency of the matter, he’s requested an emergency preliminary injunction hearing, scheduled for October second.
“We requested the judge to identify at least two types of identification the client (parents) can present to be able to obtain a birth certificate, we don’t care what those forms of identification are, as long as our clinets can get it”.
Those forms can include passports, visas, or a consular id. The Mexican government is also giving their support by filing an amicus brief and intervening as a third party to confirm the Mexican consular ID as a legitimate form of identification.
“I don’t have an ID, I have a consular one and a Mexican passport, but they don’t accept that.”
Without a birth certificate, affected children are denied access to basic services like school enrollment and medical care. Something Olivares hopes this law suit will change for good.
“We’re hoping the lawsuit will benefit everyone in this situation, so that everyone who has a child born here will be able to get a birth certificate”.
Denying these children US birth certificates also denies them effective Mexican citizenship, leaving them in a state of limbo.