The horrors just keep on coming!
According to The Washington Post, there have been dramatic changes in the issuance of passports by the U.S. Government and border-control practices in South Texas.
In some cases, passport applicants with official U.S. birth certificates are being jailed in immigration detention centers and entered into deportation proceedings. In others, they are stuck in Mexico, their passports suddenly revoked when they tried to reenter the United States. As the Trump administration attempts to reduce both legal and illegal immigration, the government’s treatment of passport applicants in South Texas shows how U.S. citizens are increasingly being swept up by immigration enforcement agencies.
An individual named Juan, who served honorably in the U.S. Military, who then served as a cadet in the U.S. Border Patrol, and who now works as a guard at a Texas State Prison, applied to renew his U.S. passport. In a written response, the State Department voiced doubts that he was really a U.S. citizen. One woman, Betty, tried to get a passport so that she could visit her dying grandfather in Mexico. She went to a passport office in Houston, Texas. Officials there questioned whether she was a natural-born citizen and denied her request. She did not want The Post to use her last name because she fears that she might be deported.
The government alleges that from the 1950s through the 1990s, some midwives and physicians along the Texas-Mexico border provided U.S. birth certificates to babies who were actually born in Mexico. In a series of federal court cases in the 1990s, several birth attendants admitted to providing fraudulent documents.
Based on those suspicions, the State Department during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations denied passports to people who were delivered by midwives in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. The use of midwives is a long-standing tradition in the region, in part because of the cost of hospital care.
One midwife said that she had helped to deliver 600 babies in South Texas. In two cases, she said, she had accepted money to provide a fake birth certificates for children who had already been born in Mexico.
In 2009, the government and the A.C.L.U. entered into a settlement after the A.C.L.U. had sued the government for refusing to issue passports in such cases. The number of denials then declined, and the government acquiesced when people who were denied passports had then filed complaints.
That was then: this is now. #MAGA!
The Post reports that passport denials and revocations have ramped up dramatically. In some cases, government agents have come to people’s houses and seized their passports. In other cases, people with U.S. passports who go to Mexico for a visit end up having their passports seized when they attempt to enter the U.S. and they themselves are put in immigration detention facilities if they insist on reentering the U.S.
People who attempt to obtain passports using birth certificates signed by midwives (and at least one deceased South Texas gynecologist) are required to provide additional documentation, such as baptismal certificates, rent receipts from apartments that their parents rented around the times that they were born, evidence from OB-GYNs of prenatal care, etc.
These new tactics are causing all kinds of problems for law-abiding people who have lived in the United States for decades.
I’m catching a whiff here of that loathsome racist, Stephen Miller. It’s disgusting!
Where and when will this all end?