A group of mothers has filed suit against the chief of the state’s Department of State Health Services Vital Statistics Unit in federal court in Austin for refusing to issue birth certificates to their U.S. born children.

According to the complaint in Serna v. Texas Department of State Health Services, “hundreds, and possibly thousands, of parents from Mexico and Central America have been recently denied birth certificates for their Texas-born children.” Plaintiffs claim that the State of Texas is discriminating against them because of their immigration status and national origin. The issue before the court is not whether these children are U.S. citizens, but rather, what type of documents must the state of Texas accept from the undocumented immigrant parents to issue a birth certificate. The 14th Amendment confers citizenship on anyone “born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

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