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US Revoking Passports of Hispanics Near Border

'Washington Post' reports on new crackdown based on old controversy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2018 6:11 AM CDT
A US Border Patrol vehicle drives along a fence line near the US-Mexico border in Hidalgo, Texas.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(Newser) – A new immigration controversy involves not the denial of US citizenship from applicants but the stripping of US citizenship from Hispanics along the Texas-Mexico border. The Washington Post unpacks the story, which asserts that hundreds and perhaps thousands of Hispanics in the region are suddenly having their American citizenship challenged. It all stems from allegations that midwives and doctors who delivered babies from the 1950s through the 1990s falsely declared that infants born in Mexico were actually born in South Texas. In fact, at least 10 midwives were indicted in a sting in the 1990s, notes Slate. The problem is that the same midwives who provided bogus paperwork in some cases also delivered thousands of babies who were legitimately born in the US, and all are being lumped together.

The issue had seemed to be resolved several years ago: The administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama denied passports to people delivered by certain midwives, and a 2009 settlement between the ACLU and the government appeared to end the issue. But the State Department is now raising it anew, asserting that it's not a change in policy but that "the US-Mexico border region happens to be an area of the country where there has been a significant incidence of citizenship fraud." The story details the plight of some of the individuals affected, including a 40-year-old former Army vet who had his passport renewal rejected and others who have run into more than just red tape. "I’ve had probably 20 people who have been sent to the detention center—US citizens," says an attorney in Brownsville. Click to read the full story. (Read more US citizenship stories.)

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