In 2013, the State of Texas adopted new procedures making it almost impossible for the undocumented immigrant parents of children born in Texas to obtain birth certificates for their kids. This move was seen as part of a campaign by anti-immigrant politicians to deny U.S.-born Latino children their citizenship rights under the 14th Amendment.
Under the Constitution, anyone born in the U.S. is a citizen of this country, with the exception of the children of certain diplomats. The children of undocumented immigrants are no different. However, activist lawyers for several hate groups came up with a strategy of denying access to the birth certificates of these children in order to deny them their rights as U.S. citizens. If a person can’t prove American citizenship, then he or she could be treated as an undocumented immigrant even though born here.
Advocates for immigrants sued Texas to halt this illegal denial of birth certificates. This week, they reached a settlement with the state that will ease the issuance of birth certificates. A variety of forms of identification will now be accepted for the certificates. This will make it easier for the children to enroll in school, obtain IDs, and access public programs only available to citizens.
While this settlement appears to close this sorry chapter, it is just the latest example of the effort by those opposed to immigrants to punish the American citizen children of the undocumented. Those politicians who attack children to get at their immigrant parents are the worst kind of cowards.