News Story (Texas)
Melissa del Bosque
July 13, 2015
Tags: Birth Certificates, Immigration Process
Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)
In May, four women filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Texas Department of State Health Services alleging constitutional discrimination and interference in the federal government’s authority over immigration.
Jennifer Harbury, a lawyer with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, who is representing the women, said the deluge of birth certificate refusals began last winter. “I’ve never seen such a large number of women with this problem,” she says. “In the past someone might be turned away, but it was always resolved. This is something altogether new.”
According to the lawsuit, the women who requested birth certificates for their children in Cameron and Hidalgo counties were turned away because of insufficient proof of their identities. State law allows the use of a foreign ID if the mother lacks a Texas driver’s license or a U.S. passport.