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You have to hand it ("it" in this case being a flaming bag of dog poop) to the Great State of Texas: When it comes to finding new ways to be total dicks, the creativity and imagination of Texas government is almost boundless. The newest nomination for the Asshole Hall of Fame goes to officials in at least two Texas counties who have decided to take on the issue of "anchor babies" by just plain refusing to issue birth certificates for American-born children of parents whose immigration status the clerks aren't happy with. Wingnuts have been screaming for years about the urgent need to modify the 14th Amendment to prevent the horror of birthright citizenship, so instead of holding more hearings about it, why not just ignore the parts of the Constitution they don't like?


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The Texas Observer brings us the deets:

In the last year, the state has refused to issue birth certificates [paywalled link -- Dok Z] to children who were born in Texas to undocumented parents. In May, four women filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Texas Department of State Health Services alleging constitutional discrimination and interference in the federal government’s authority over immigration.

Jennifer Harbury, a lawyer with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, who is representing the women, said the deluge of birth certificate refusals began last winter. “I’ve never seen such a large number of women with this problem,” she says. “In the past someone might be turned away, but it was always resolved. This is something altogether new.”

A quick digression: You have to admire the chootspah of TRLA -- its homepage has a quote from an immigrant-hating sheriff complaining about how TRLA tells people what their rights are. The nerve of some people!

Employees at the vital statistics offices in Hidalgo and Cameron counties have turned women seeking birth certificates away because they provided "insufficient proof of their identities." Under Texas law, if someone lacks a U.S. driver's license, they can still get routine documents like birth certificates with a foreign ID. The clerks in the offices reportedly told the women:

[T]hey would no longer accept either the matricula consular, which is a photo ID issued by the Mexican Consulate to Mexican nationals living in the U.S., or a foreign passport without a current U.S. visa. Undocumented Central American women are also being turned away because they only have a passport without a U.S. visa. “They are locking out a huge chunk of the undocumented immigrant community,” says Harbury.

Applying for a birth certificate for your U.S.-born infant is not voting, Texas. No matter how petty and shitheaded your employees' deeply held religious beliefs may be about immigration reform, the 14th Amendment means those kids are citizens and you can't turn them into non-citizens by refusing to do your job.

Harbury believes the refusals to provide a legal service to these women is in reaction to last year's Central American Asylum-Seeker Freakout, when rightwingers completely lost their shit over the floods of dirty filthy disease-ridden Central American children coming to America to take our jobs (especially the 3-year-olds):

“They are targeting the undocumented population, but immigration is a federal function and not the job of the Department of State Health Services,” says Harbury. Women are unable to enroll their children in school or daycare without a birth certificate, or to authorize their child to be treated in a medical emergency. “It causes all kinds of problems,” Harbury says. “How is a woman going to prove she’s the child’s parent without a birth certificate?”

Well isn't that the point? Look, if the federal government won't shoot all the immigrants as they approach the border, it's up to low-level county employees to decide which parts of the Constitution actually are worth paying attention to: the Second Amendment and whichever part says America is a Christian nation. That's right there in the Declaration of Independence; we're pretty sure Hannity said something about it. Or maybe they have evidence that the Bilderberg Group's chosen Democratic candidate for 2056 was just born in McAllen, and they want to avoid a constitutional crisis down the road.

[Texas Observer]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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