Citizenship In Question For Latinos Delivered By Midwives On U.S. Soil

The Obama administration is under fire from the national pro-immigrant group Café Con Leche Republicans after allegedly stripping U.S. citizens of their citizenship over birth certificate fraud. Citizen status for hundreds of Latinos is now in jeopardy as the current administration refuses to recognize the citizenship of those who were birthed with the assistance of midwives instead of in the traditional hospital setting, Bob Quasius reported in a recent article for the Tucson Citizen.

The issue was brought to public attention in June 2012 when a group of midwives along the U.S-Mexico border were convicted of selling U.S. birth certificates to foreign-born individuals. As it is very difficult to prove place of birth without hospital records, therefore, legal citizenship is being called into question for most people delivered by midwives in southern Texas, according to CNN News.

“For countless Latinos who were delivered by midwives in the Southwest, trying to obtain a passport has become an exercise in futility,” the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement. “Although midwifery has been a common practice for more than a century, particularly in rural and other traditionally underserved communities, the U.S. government has imposed unsurpassable hurdles on midwife-delivered Latinos to prove their citizenship and eligibility for U.S. passports – even when their citizenship has already been established in the past.”

Many elderly Latinos are being asked to locate prenatal medical records and records from every school they’ve attended while living in the United States. Even with sufficient documentation, the U.S. Department of State refuses to issue passports to some of these individuals, which has led to a number of lawsuits over the past few years.

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