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Texas denying birth certificates to U.S.-born children

Since President Obama took executive action in 2012 to protect millions of immigrants from deportation, a few states have been doing what they can to rebel.

In one example, Texas is now making it much more difficult for immigrant parents to get birth certificates for their children who were born in the United States, the Los Angeles Times recently reported.

Children who are born on U.S. soil are automatic citizens, thanks to the U.S. Constitution. However, the state of Texas has refused to issue birth certificates to hundreds -- and possibly thousands -- of undocumented immigrant parents who could not provide the required paperwork.

Texas, like many other states, used to allow parents applying for birth certificates to use alternative identification documents such as matriculas when they did not have access to U.S.-issued papers. But now the state is forcing many county officials to require more formal identification.

Many people believe that the state's stricter identification standards are in direct response to Obama's immigration reform efforts, especially after a large surge of immigrants entered the Rio Grande Valley from Central America last year.

Immigration lawyers say that the state's retaliation efforts are illegal and result in harm to U.S.-born children who have a right to benefits that are available to U.S. citizens, including medical care, transportation and schooling.

A lawsuit has been filed by more than a dozen parents in the Rio Grande Valley on behalf of their 23 children, who were denied birth certificates. The lawsuit is demanding that the birth certificates be issued, as the 14th Amendment to the Constitution requires.

What parents can do

Texas parents who have been denied birth certificates for their children should contact an immigration lawyer in their area to discuss their rights and options right away.

If you child was born in the U.S., then he or she has every right to be issued a birth certificate and to have access to the many advantages that come along with citizenship.

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