The Washington Post reports that the US State Department has been systematically denying passports to US citizens delivered by midwives. The ACLU filed a case on behalf of nine citizens, and is seeking class-action status.
The State Department’s actions follow cases in the 1960s through 1990s in which, according to a State Department list last updated in 2002, at least 65 midwives were convicted of fraudulently registering births that they did not deliver. The cases mostly affect South Texas residents.
Changes in cross-border travel agreements affecting passage between Mexico and the United States mean that US citizens will need a passport to cross the border and come back, where up to now a driver’s license has been sufficient.
In one case that looks like an instance of excessive zeal, one David Hernandez was denied a passport despite presenting his birth certificate, his baptismal certificate, state immunization records, US Army discharge certificate, and affidavits by witnesses to his birth. His mother is a permanent legal resident and her mother was a US citizen.
- ACLU Press Release, September 9, 2008