More Birth Certificate Battles

Texas stands up for the value of US citizenship.

It's mostly died down now, but since he first rose to national prominence, Barack Obama has been surrounded by questions about his United States birth certificate.

To this day, one fifth of Americans believe Mr. Obama was born in Kenya.  We tend to think that's unlikely, but there is compelling evidence that something about the documents is phony; we just don't know precisely what.  Nevertheless, in all probability he does truly have a genuine certificate of birth in these United States, somewhere or other.

Now we are presented with news of less exalted people with the opposite problem: babies who are indeed born in the US, in an American hospital, but who cannot obtain American birth certificates.  It's no surprise that the media is responding with shock and horror at the injustice.

Not so fast!  The "American" babies concerned are in fact anchor babies, children born to illegal immigrants.

This raises some interesting legal questions which even the liberal judge who took the case felt needed to be fully and formally explored in court.  As the liberal media's preferred term of "undocumented immigrants" makes plain, a hallmark of being an illegal is not having any papers.

Birth certificates, by definition, are supposed to be legal proof of who your parents are, and not just where you were born.  Of course, while the identity of the father was somewhat debatable until the advent of modern DNA testing, it's generally quite easy to positively identify the mother of a newborn baby, particularly if the birth takes place in a hospital.

But how do you know who the mother is?  She may be lying right there in the hospital bed in front of you, but to fill out a birth certificate you need a name.  She can say anything she pleases, but as what says is going to be part of a legal document, proof is required.

For ordinary Americans, this is not a problem: most hospitals demand ID and an insurance card before treating you unless you are in dire straits or an illegal immigrant.  There may be the occasional illegal who can confirm their identity with their own foreign passport, but they tend to prefer not to do this because showing a passport is conclusive evidence of their illegal status as proven by the absence of a US visa.

A birth certificate is considered the ultimate proof of all sorts of things, so much so that transsexuals have successfully sued to have their birth certificates reissued in the opposite gender.  Why would any conscientious hospital administrator or county clerk issue a birth certificate bearing the names of parents when he had no idea of their true identity?

Fraud On Top Of Fraud

Now, the left has an answer to this objection.  Most illegals don't have a passport, true, but a good many of them have something else: a matricula consular, which is an ID issued by a Mexican consulate.

On the face of things, this sounds reasonable: by definition a matricula consular is a government-issued document, like a passport or driver's license.  The trouble is that the illegals presenting themselves at the consulate to get one have no way to prove who they are to the consul.

No, what happens is that Juan and Maria Valdez present themselves at the Mexican consulate, and then - well, let's listen to FBI Assistant Director Steven C. McCraw testifying before Congress:

First, the Government of Mexico has no centralized database to coordinate the issuance of consular ID cards. This allows multiple cards to be issued under the same name, the same address, or with the same photograph.

Second, the Government of Mexico has no interconnected databases to provide intra-consular communication to be able to verify who has or has not applied for or received a consular ID card.

Third, the Government of Mexico issues the card to anyone who can produce a Mexican birth certificate and one other form of identity, including documents of very low reliability. Mexican birth certificates are easy to forge and they are a major item on the product list of the fraudulent document trade currently flourishing across the country and around the world. A September 2002 bust of a document production operation in Washington state illustrated the size of this trade. A huge cache of fake Mexican birth certificates was discovered. It is our belief that the primary reason a market for these birth certificates exists is the demand for fraudulently-obtained Matricula Consular cards.

Fourth, in some locations, when an individual seeking a Matricula Consular is unable to produce any documents whatsoever, he will still be issued a Matricula Consular by the Mexican consular official, if he fills out a questionnaire and satisfies the official that he is who he purports to be.

In addition to being vulnerable to fraud, the Matricula Consular is also vulnerable to forgery. There have been several generations of the card; and even the newest version can be easily replicated, despite its security features. It is our estimate that more than 90 percent of Matricula Consular cards now in circulation are earlier versions of the card, which are little more than simple laminated cards without any security features.

So there you have it: Our own FBI says a matricula consular is proof of nothing at all.

Does this mean that every single one is fraudulent?  Of course not.  Alas, the whole purpose of the matricula consular is to provide identification to illegal immigrants, that is, to people who have already demonstrated their contempt for the rule of law and American sovereignty by their very presence on our soil.  Why would they care about telling the truth on an ID card that simply proves their criminality?

When you look at the facts, it makes perfect sense for the state of Texas to refuse to issue official documents based on nothing more than the say-so of known criminals.

We can hear the shrieks of the Left now, that this will condemn the innocent babies to being stateless persons with no citizenship anywhere at all.  That's certainly possible, but only as the direct result of the gross negligence and criminal activity of their parents that continues throughout the child's life.

Because there's another straightforward way to get a birth certificate, which countless American servicepeople and other world travelers know: You present yourself, your baby, and your hospital records to your nation's consulate, and receive a "Certificate of Birth Abroad" which is just as valid as a domestic one.

The only trouble is, such a certificate would be issued by the consulate of the parents' home country - that is, Mexico.  Yes, their baby would have a perfectly legal and valid birth certificate, just not a United States one.

Which is exactly as it should be!  America may have tolerated the anchor baby plague for many years, but no other nation does and there's no requirement to to so under international law.  A child born to illegal immigrants is a citizen of the parents' home country, not of the nation where they are not legally present.

Three cheers for Texas for enforcing common sense and the rule of law!

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Immigration.
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