There is a problem of illegal immigrants delivering their babies on the US side of the southern border and demanding birth certificates that, they believe, would settle US citizenship on the children. With the upcoming hearing of a suit filed against Texas Department of State Health Services for a refusal to accept the unsecured matricula consular I.D. card issued by Mexican consulates, there is an answer that could resolve the problem.
First, despite media sources erroneously reporting that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States “guarantees the right of citizenship to children born here,”there is no such provision within the Constitution. Secondly, the matricula is an identification card for Mexican nationals, proving the individual carrying one, without accompanying valid visa, to be illegally present in the United States, notwithstanding they’re working, on welfare or possess a driver’s license.
Evidently, the state of Texas is grappling with the fact that the matricula can be easily forged and refuses to accept them as valid ID on that basis. However, if they are accepted to identify the carrier as an (probable illegal) entrant within US borders, then the status of the individual is established as Mexican.
How does this help the situation? There are three further steps that Texas can take. One) passing legislation that plainly states what the reading of the 14th Amendment, Section 1 states, that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” (bold emphasis, mine)
The clear reading, without rose-colored glasses, is that those who are born within the United States and are subject to the jurisdiction are so because their parents are subject, meaning they must be US citizens. A child does not come into this world without the parent birthing it and no matter where the child is born it is under the jurisdiction of the parent first and foremost, not the country in which it was delivered. Simply look up the stories of Canadian parents flying to hospitals in Montana and Washington to deliver their children because of the quality of care provided. Not one of them was conferred US citizenship. This issue is not a matter of some being awarded citizenship and others not, according to the parents’ preference. There is one standard—the child carries the citizenship of the parents’ home country.
Two) Texas, and all other states, should revise their Medical Data Worksheet and Mother’s Worksheet for Child’s Birth Certificate to include national citizenship declaration, which the matricula does in the case of Mexicans residing outside their nation. Albeit a side matter, states should drop the invention of multiple races that are actually ethnicities. This causes huge confusion among individuals who can’t figure out who they are any longer. Since when is “Chamorro,” someone from the island of Guam, a race? This whole situation has gotten out of hand in government’s seeking control through divisiveness.
Also, Texas, whose brilliant idea was it to include a proclamation of “Congratulations on the birth of your new Little Texan!” on the Mother’s data sheet? This assumes that all children born within the borders of the state of Texas are ipso facto citizens of the state and, following, the United States, which they are not according to the 14th Amendment and the new statute (should Texas take this advice and pass legislation as recommended above). Consider that such legislation should be enacted as an amendment to the state constitution.
Third) Texas and other states should revise their birth certificates by adding a field to indicate the national citizenship of the parents of the child who is delivered on United States’ soil. Thus, using the matricula card, of which so many illegals are fond, the country of origin can be plainly stated as that of Mexico and entered accordingly. Another field should be added to designate the citizenship of the child according to the parents’ citizenship. Again, using the matricula consular, the child is then easily identified as a Mexican national.
When it comes, then, to whether the child should be provided a social security number, health care, schooling or other benefit from the state, the decision is determined by whether the parent or parents have valid documentation to be residing in the United States, either as true citizens or holding a current visa. Only children of US citizens would be able to apply for a social security number, etc. If they do not have such documentation or carry only a matricula, asserting their national origin and citizenship, the whole family must be deported.
If this remedy seems a little too simple, it could be because it takes a law degree to obfuscate and convolute what is really a rather cut-and-dried situation. Redefining the Constitution to suit a political agenda is not now, nor ever has been, acceptable. The 14th Amendment is clear and for those who really like to draw on foreign law for their standards, let them go to Mexican immigration law and use it as an example. Perhaps it should be instituted for Mexicans in the United States simply as a compliment and a courtesy to the Mexican government which either deports or incarcerates offenders.
In the instance of this particular lawsuit filed on behalf of 30 individuals residing in Texas illegally, the Mexican government has no standing to advocate for rewriting US law in the American judicial system, particularly recommending acceptance of their citizens for entitlements when there is not, nor ever shall be, reciprocation.
Minor children carry the national citizenship of their parents, no matter where they are born, just as a child born to American parents overseas is still an American citizen. There are no special circumstances for anyone. All must go through the proper process painstakingly and legally.