Ah, Texas. Perhaps the only state in the country that, from time to time, contemplates leaving the union and becoming an independent nation, even though that isn’t even allowed under the U.S. Constitution. As I recall, it’s kinda what helped start the Civil War.
But Texas right-wingers love to pay lip service to what is and what isn’t Constitutional, yet at the same time they decide to openly flaunt their own responsibilities under the same document they claim to hold so dear.
A perfect example of this is currently taking place in the Lone Star State. The Texas Department of State Health Services is refusing to issue birth certificates to babies born of immigrants or of people who don’t have sufficient IDs. This is in direct violation of the 14th Amendment, which states:
“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.”
Keep in mind these children were born in the United States! They’re just as much Americans as I am. If you’re born in the United States, you are automatically a citizen of the United States. Hey, Texas, read the law!
Jennifer Harbury, a lawyer representing a group of women who are suing the Department of State Health Services,remarked:
“I’ve never seen such a large number of women with this problem. In the past someone might be turned away, but it was always resolved. This is something altogether new. They are targeting the undocumented population, but immigration is a federal function and not the job of the Department of State Health Services.”
The 14th Amendment, by the way, was adopted in 1866 in direct reaction to the racism inherent in the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision which said that African-Americans weren’t full citizens. And now we have Texas trying to do the same thing to another group of people they see as less than equal.
According to the Pew Research Center, 20 million adults in this country were born to immigrant parents. And second generation Americans have a higher median income than the general population. But how are parents supposed to prove their children are citizens of the United States without a birth certificate for their kids?
Texas, I gotta call you out on this one. Maybe you think you can get away with this, but the Constitution says you can’t. And that’s a debate that, thankfully, you are never going to win.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.