Newsweek reports that the Trump administration claims hundreds of Hispanic people living near the U.S.-Mexico border have fake birth certificates. Many of these people have had their passports revoked.
Hundreds of individuals have been accused of holding fraudulent birth certificates and some have been arrested and imprisoned while they await immigration proceedings. Others have had their passports revoked while trying to come back to the United States from Mexico. The Trump administration has also increased rejections of passport applications for people it believes may have fake birth certificates.
According to Fortune, the government believes that between the 1950s and the 1990s some midwives and doctors working between the border gave out fraudulent U.S. birth certificates to children who were actually born in Mexico. There have been a few cases where birth attendants admitted to doing this, however, most of these midwives delivered thousands of children in the United States legally.
Jennifer Correro, an attorney from Houston who has defended several people that have had their passports revoked said, “We’re seeing these kinds of cases skyrocketing.”
However, a State Department official told The Hill that the agency “has not changed policy or practice regarding the adjudication of passport applications.” The official also said, “The U.S.-Mexico border region happens to be an area of the country where there has been a significant incidence of citizenship fraud.”
Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee disagrees and says that the administration has denied or revoked passports from people who were born in the United States. “Americans are being targeted, detained, and denied their rights because of the color of their skin. This is a disgrace to our democracy and a vicious assault on our community.” He went on to say, “We know that diversity is our nation’s greatest strength. And we will continue to fight this administration’s attacks on Hispanic communities, immigrant families, and all Americans seeking opportunity.”
Although the State Department says there has been no policy change, Fortune reports that through several interviews conducted with individuals and attorneys, it has been found that a dramatic shift has occurred in passport issuance and immigration enforcement.
The Trump administration has made many efforts to crack down on immigration. One of President Trump’s campaign promises was to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico in an effort to prevent illegal immigration. The Trump administration has also been working to put more restrictions on voter ID laws, which many believe would likely mostly affect Hispanic people.