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Immigration Law

U.S. Citizen Kids' Benefits At Risk By Birth Certificate Denials in Texas

"One mother's U.S. citizen children were denied entry to Head Start. Another U.S-born child was kicked out of school. A mother stopped by police was interrogated over whether she was truly her U.S. citizen child's parent.

These are some of the experiences that U.S-born children in Texas are going through because the state has made it impossible for their parents to get birth certificates proving the children were born in the U.S., according to court documents and the attorney representing the families.

Caught in the debate over immigration and the politics of a presidential election, an unknown number of children in Texas whose parents are potentially illegally in the country, are unable to get state and federal services given to U.S. citizens, face the threat of being unable to go to school and are unable to travel because their home state is denying their parents their birth certificates.

"We just filed a (request for) a preliminary injunction because a lot of parents had been told they have to have a birth certificate or their child can't get into school," said Jennifer Harbury, an attorney with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid who is representing several families, said Monday. The families in the case keeps growing.

The children's experiences are taking the debate over birthright citizenship and immigration beyond the academic arguments and political rhetoric of recent weeks and presenting real-life consequences of children born in this country but who are being denied proof of citizenship, something that is routine for a majority of Americans." - Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News, Aug. 24, 2015.