After peddling the notorious birther conspiracy theory against former President Barack Obama, President Donald Trump and his equally incompetent administration are using a similar tactic to deny passports to hundreds and possibly thousands of Hispanic Americans living along the U.S.-Mexico border by accusing them of having counterfeit birth certificates, according to The Washington Post.
The federal government, which appears hell bent on separating families and deport as many immigrants as possible, has resurfaced a 1990s legal dispute that claimed some midwives in the Rio Grande Valley and nearby areas forged fake birth certificates for scores of children who were supposedly born in Mexico.
The State Department is apparently using it as a justification for asking people in Southern Texas to provide additional proof that they were born in the United States. If they fail to do so, they can have their passports revoked.
It means, if a citizen leaves the country and goes to Mexico to meet their family, they won’t be allowed to return back home. In fact, they might even be arrested at the border – all because of some unverified and uncorroborated evidence about counterfeit documents.
What’s even worse, immigration lawyers told the publication a number of citizens were even jailed or thrown into immigration detention centers after their passports were denied.
In its report, The Washington Post documented the case of a man named Juan, a Brownsville-born former Army private and Border Patrol cadet who wished to keep his last name private. The 40-year-old said the State Department told him he was not an American citizen when he applied for a passport renewal.
“I served my country. I fought for my country,” said Juan, voicing his frustration with the administration’s accusation.
He now works as a prison security guard.
It is also important to mention the same midwives who allegedly provided fake birth certificates also delivered hundreds and thousands of babies in the United States, so how would the authorities verify which certificates are legitimate and which aren’t?
Although the State Department, in a statement, said its passport practices have not changed, attorneys told the publication a growing number of applicants have seen their passports being denied after they failed to provide further documents, besides birth certificate, to prove their birth place.
If anything, it seems like another way for the racist and xenophobic Trump administration to target the Hispanic-American community amid the widespread immigration crackdown.
Thumbnail / Banner : Greg Blomberg / EyeEm / Getty Images