CHC Members Want Trump Admin to Stop Denying U.S.-Born Their Citizenship
There is a growing number of people who were born along the U.S.-Mexico border, and their citizenship is suddenly being thrown into question. The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and maybe thousands, of Hispanics of using fraudulent birth certificates since their birth. Their official birth records show they were born in the U.S., but they are now being denied passports. In response, Congressmen Vicente González (D-TX), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), and Jimmy Gómez (D-CA) have introduced the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Improvement Act of 2018. If passed, their bill would prevent the State Department from judging an individual on the basis of race, ethnicity, or ancestry during the passport application process. Under the bill, the State Department also could not deny or flag an individual for citizenship questioning, even in the presence of a midwife birth certificate, without substantial evidence and may not create an argument, solely to question the authenticity of documents, based on the aforementioned criteria. “No U.S. citizen should ever endure questioning about the nature of their birth,” González said. “Every American, especially members of our Armed Forces and veterans, has the right to hold a U.S. Passport to travel abroad and return home without having their ethnic or ancestral background questioned.” Espaillat said that he is “deeply concerned about the State Department’s arbitrary enforcement and use of a policy to question, detain, and even deport U.S. citizens. We take these reports very seriously, and our bill would work to ensure that U.S. passport holders and individuals will not be discriminated against when applying to renew their passports or travel abroad.” Gómez added that “[u]sing an American citizen’s ethnic or immigrant background as the basis to deny their passport or revoke a previously issued passport flies in the face of the values that define our nation.” More here.