Children of Illegal Immigrants Hurt by Texas Ruling
Judge says Texas can keep denying birth certificates to US-born kids
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2015 1:32 PM CDT
A woman in the country illegally plays with her 2-year-old daughter, who was born in the in the United States but was denied a birth certificate by Texas officials.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – The 14th Amendment of the Constitution grants citizenship to any person born in the US regardless of the immigration status of their parents. That didn't stop a federal judge from ruling Friday that Texas officials can continue denying birth certificates to the children of illegal immigrants, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the Christian Science Monitor, judge Robert Pitman based his denial of an emergency order—brought by 28 families on behalf of 32 children—on the "matricula consular," the ID issued by Mexican consulates. Texas officials argue those IDs—the most common among illegal immigrants—are unreliable and easy to fake, NPR reports. It's an assessment the FBI agrees with, despite the IDs being accepted by dozens of states and hundreds of banks, according to the Monitor.

An attorney for the families tells the the Times that without birth certificates, the children are having trouble getting access to basic services, such as schools and medical care. Pitman admitted children and their constitutional rights are being hurt by Texas' policy, but he says the state does have a right to make sure the IDs they accept are valid, NPR reports. “While the court is very troubled at the prospect of Texas-born children, and their parents, being denied issuance of a birth certificate, Texas has a clear interest in protecting access to that document," the Times quotes Pitman's ruling. According to the Monitor, the ruling comes as multiple Republican presidential candidates have suggested getting rid of the 14th Amendment over a fear of "anchor babies."
 

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