Rubén Cantú-Rodríguez/Conexión Del Río

DEL RIO – The Consulate of Mexico in Del Rio welcomed the settlement reached in the litigation initiated against the Texas Vital Statistics Unit, regarding the policy of restricting birth certificates to children of Mexicans born in Texas by rejecting some official documents as a valid form of identification of the parents.

Carlos Obrador Garrido Cuesta, Consul of Mexico in Del Rio, said this policy did not affect local residents in Val Verde County. During the nearly two years that was in effect, the local consulate never received complaints from Mexican nationals concerning such policy.

Obrador said the Foreign Ministry, through its embassy and consular network, will continue to advocate for the rights of Mexicans in the United States and will continue offering assistance and protection to all who require it, regardless of their immigration status.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the settlement reached in the lawsuit brought against the Vital Statistics Unit of the State of Texas, regarding its policy of not issuing birth certificates to children born in Texas to undocumented parents,” the consul said.

Texas is the only state countrywide that would not accept a passport without visa, or the consular matricula as valid identification to obtain birth certificates of children born in the United States.

This implies that due to the inability of parents to access other forms of official identification, many children of undocumented parents do not have a U.S. birth certificate despite being born in this country and entitled to the citizenship under the U.S. Constitution.

In August of 2015, the Government of Mexico filed a notice of “Friend of the Court” (Amicus Curiae) in support of the lawsuit filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project and Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, considering that the state policy violates the fundamental right to identify citizens, and undermines the ability of parents to demonstrate a legal bond with their children.

Similarly, the Government of Mexico indicated its rejection to a sub-national government to interfere with the principle of mutual recognition of identity documents issued to foreign nationals by their own government.

As a result of the ordered mediation U.S. Judge Robert Pitman, in Texas, ruled to accept the voter’s card issued by the National Electoral Institute (INE) as secondary identification to obtain birth certificates.

As a result of the mediation, the voter ID card must be presented along with two additional documents from a list which increased from 18 to 28 documents. Documents such as church records, vehicle titles, leases, and utility bills such as electricity or telephone, and others will be included.

The Government of Mexico, through the General Consulate of Mexico in Austin, will continue to insist to state authorities on the need to recognize and accept the Mexican consular matricula and Mexican passport without a visa as valid, unique and sufficient form of identification. This in response to international practice and to the highest quality standards which both documents are issued with.