If You Are Mexican Born in the Unites States, Prove It…

By Jonathan Adams Aug 14, 2008

Apparently, the State Department doesn’t think that a birth certificate, church records, school records, and voter rolls are enough to prove that a person is a citizen of the United States anymore. Especially if that person is a Mexican American living in Texas on the border. Juan Aranda, 38, was born in Weslaco, TX, but when he went to apply for a U.S. passport he received a letter that told him he had to first become a citizen. The State Department says Aranda was denied because of a old scam among Texas midwives.

"Usually a state-issued birth certificate is sufficient to establish U.S. nationality," says Michael Kirby, a senior official for consular affairs at the State Department. But, given the fraud committed by some south Texas midwives, "we want to be careful that we issue passports to everybody who is eligible and not to anyone who isn’t," he says, acknowledging that thousands of passport applicants could be affected.

Because there is no formal appeals process with the no-stone-unturned State Department, there is no official recourse for Aranda, Eva Gonzalez, a 75-year-old church secretary, and scores of others. Lisa Brodyaga, an immigration attorney, has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of several applicants, but says she can’t take anymore calls.[WSJ] How do you earn citizenship? These people were born in the United Sates and have the documents, but that’s not enough. While some immigrants have gone to school and worked in this country all their lives. At what point are people of color American enough?!