Sunday, July 20, 2008

TEXAS; Midwives Deliver New Problems in Citizenship, July

July 20, 2008

Midwives deliver new problems in citizenship

BROWNSVILLE — Many South Texans who were delivered by midwives are facing extra scrutiny as they apply for U.S. passports.

The federal government is pressing these border residents to essentially prove their U.S. citizenship all over again if they hope to gain a passport, The Brownsville Herald reported Sunday.

Officials suspect many South Texans who were delivered by midwives are applying for passports with fraudulent birth certificates. Some of them, officials say, were actually born in Mexico.

The number of passport applications is rising in the Rio Grande Valley because of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which will require a passport to travel into Mexico.

"Normally, a birth certificate is sufficient to prove citizenship," said Cy Ferenchak, a spokesperson for the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs. "But because of a history of fraudulently filed reports on the Southwest border, we don't have much faith in the (midwife-granted) document."

From 1960 to 2008, more than 75 South Texas midwives were convicted of signing birth certificates for children they did not deliver.

Mireya Salgado, who was denied a passport and is now having to provide additional proof of her U.S. citizenship because she was delivered by a midwife, said the extra scrutiny is unfair.

"After 56 years, it's like they're questioning whether my citizenship was a big mistake," said Salgado, a 10th-grade English teacher at Porter High School. "I was born here. My mother was born here. This is the only place we've known."

Many families like Salgado's couldn't afford hospital care and depended on midwives as an alternative, especially before 1984 when Medicaid began covering childbirth.

The Texas Midwifery Board reports that in 2004, 6.6 percent of babies born in Texas were delivered by midwives.

Link to article


silvester said...

Officials suspect many South Texans who were delivered by midwives are applying for passports with fraudulent birth certificates.
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Anonymous said...

The Law must be upheld and enforced. There is no beating around the Bush and nobody should be given the run around when it comes to their rights. The State Dept. is abusing and discriminating American Citizens based solely on their race and that is pitiful. If the State Dept. wants to challenge a persons US citizenship then they better do it on solid ground and abide the LAW, not on plain ridiculous excuses. Miss Rice is responsible for that Dept. and well anybody can see that there's something fishy going on against Mexican Americans. Either she or some big honcho in the State Dept. has got something against Mexican Americans. Looks like the plan is to turn us legal US Mexican Americans into 2nd class citizens and by golly that's not right because there ain't no such thing as that. We are all US Citizen, don't matter if we're of Oriental, African, European, Latin American or of any other descent. So either the people in the State Dept. respect the LAW, in other words or they SHAPE UP OR THEY SHIP OUT! Enough is enough, down with discrimination on anybody. The State Dept. better cut that out!

Anonymous said...

Discrimination in the State Dept. towards Mexican Americans! Shame on Miss Condoleeza Rice, guess she's got a short memory. Hard to believe as it is nowadays, about 35 years ago, in the southern part of the United States, it was debatable whether a black person could have a drink of water in a fountain meant for whites only! Color of our skin does not make us less Americans than others. We are all Americans! When it comes to discrimination we are all connected, whites included! So down with discrimination and the State Dept stop trying to make up ridiculous excuses challenging our American Citizenship.