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  • Article: Racist State Policy to Deny Citizenship Rights to Mexicans by John Wheat Gibson, Sr.

    Racist State Policy to Deny Citizenship Rights to Mexicans

    by John Wheat Gibson, Sr.

    It is the policy of the Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Statistics Unit, which issues birth certificates and copies, to deny copies of Texas birth certificates to Texans whom some petty bureaucrat at the U.S. consulate accuses-without evidence, moreover-of having been born in Mexico. Thus people who have been citizens of the United States, residing in Texas for 20, 50, any number of years, are unable to obtain copies of their birth certificates. All the victims have Spanish surnames. Not one of them is granted any kind of due process before a chicken**** bureaucrat in Austin decides to deny them the equal protection of the law by refusing to provide them with a copy of their birth certificate.

    In a couple of hours, I begin a hearing by telephone for a woman whom the Texas Bureau refused a birth certificate, on the ground that the U.S. consulate alleged she was born by a midwife who had filed false birth certificates in El Paso. Never mind that there was no evidence this particular birth registration was false. Never mind that when the woman attempted to return from a visit to Mexico in 1989 an immigration judge specifically found that she is a citizen of the U.S. Never mind that the midwife is dead and cannot testify, but that she was convicted on an indictment that alleges specific phony birth registrations and does NOT list among them the registration of my client's birth.

    To me, what is obnoxious is the 1) racist denial of equal protection of the law; 2) denial by a STATE agency of U.S. citizenship rights without any legal basis for doing so; 3) punishment of completely innocent persons of Hispanic descent purely on the basis of buck naked, unsubstantiated allegations that 40 years ago some midwife, now dead, broke the law.

    I fully expect to win this hearing so that the bureau will issue my client a copy of her birth certificate. But why should she be put to the expense of attorney fees and anxiety of litigation-especially on the basis of nothing but naked allegations of somebody else's wrongdoing years ago? And what about the hundreds of other people with Hispanic surnames who do not litigate the refusal of the State agency to respect their rights of equal protection and due process?

    The policy of arbitrarily refusing birth certificates to people with Hispanic surnames on the basis of baseless, naked accusations by U.S. consulate cockroaches seems to me the kind of abuse that cannot survive publicity. I wish the media would turn on the light and watch the cockroaches scatter.

    About The Author

    John Wheat Gibson, Sr. specializes in immigration litigation, with emphasis on redeeming cases that have been ruined by the client's previous attorneys. He is a member of the National Lawyers Guild; International Association of Democratic Lawyers; American Immigration Lawyers Association; Jewish Voice for Peace; Mexican-American Lawyers Association; Occupy Dallas; ShakespeareDallas; and Kimbell Museum.

    The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.
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