WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 20, 2015) — OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates condemns a federal court ruling that would allow Texas to continue to deny birth certificates to US citizens.
On Friday, a federal district court in Austin, Texas declined a preliminary injunction that would have stopped Texas from continuing to deny birth certificates to the US born children of undocumented immigrants despite “grave concerns” by the Judge. Although the Fourteenth Amendment establishes the right to citizenship to all individuals born in the United States, the state of Texas has argued that this egregious policy change is “safeguarding Texans’ most sensitive information and vital documents”. The case was filed by La Union del Pueblo Eterno, Inc. (LUPE) on behalf of undocumented Latin American mothers whose children had been denied birth certificates.
“The failure of the court to stop this practice of denying birth certificates will cause undue harm and discrimination against the innocent children of undocumented immigrants because of their parents’ national origin,” said Ken Lee, OCA’s Chief Executive Officer. “As Asian Pacific American advocates, this practice strikes close to home since laws such as the Chinese Exclusion Act denied the rights and privileges of citizenship guaranteed to all Americans by the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling will perpetuate heinous discrimination and ultimately result in unwarranted harm to innocent children brought to this country by no fault of their own.”
“We treat efforts to undermine equal citizenship rights with the utmost concern because we value the rights and privileges of citizenship in the highest regard. Through our work with the New Americans Campaign we help aspiring citizens become citizens because we know how much it impacts their livelihood and the value it brings to their family,” said Cecil Fong, OCA – Greater Houston Chapter President. “Upholding this policy change is an unconstitutional obstacle because it discriminates based on the heritage and national origin of a child’s parents. A birth certificate is a critical document for something as simple as enrolling a child in school and will continue to make it difficult for them down the road to obtain a driver’s license, passport, or other essential documents necessary to fully participate in society.”
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).