Texas’ Unilateral Immigration Action

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

by Daniel Nardini

The State of Texas is unilaterally making decisions of what children should be U.S. citizens and those who should not be. At issue is a new Texas law that forbids the issuing of birth certificates to children of the undocumented. The Texas legislature claims that those parents who do not have any valid documents proving U.S. citizenship and do not have legal permanent residence cards therefore cannot have their children, born in the United States, from having Texas birth certificates. The Texan state government has long complained that “illegals” were over-running the state, and that it has to do something about it.

Whether it has to do something about it or not, what the state should NOT do is to withhold birth certificates for those children who have been born and raised in the United States. Federal immigration laws are strict on this point. If the children were born in this country (record of birth suffices to prove a baby should get a birth certificate), then it does not matter of the parents’ immigration status. The U.S. Constitution is clear on this point, and that is if a child is born in this country then they automatically become a U.S. citizen. Because of this, they should be issued a birth certificate.

Of course, this does not guarantee that the parents of such children can stay in the United States—only the children born here. For the parents and relatives to stay in the United States, they require the endorsement of their boy or girl when the children grow up grow up and are 18 years old. So it does not benefit the parents if their children were born in the United States. But for Texas to say it will not issue birth certificates to those children who are born in the United States is discrimination at its worst. This measure should not be left to stand, and should be struck down in the U.S. court system. Fortunately, the American Civil Liberties Union has taken up cases of those parents whose children were indeed born in the United States. I hope that this unilateral action by Texas is struck down.

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