Latino’s born to midwives will no longer be denied passports

An update to this story from almost a year ago. It was reported by the NY Times that Latinos born near the border to midwives were having their citizenship challenged.

Well some good news for us on this front from the ACLU:

Pending court approval, DOS will train its staff on how to fairly weigh all the evidence provided in passport applications and how to avoid improperly subjecting people whose births were assisted by midwives in Texas and along the U.S.-Mexico border to heightened scrutiny in reviewing their passport applications.

All denials will be automatically reviewed by a three-member panel comprised of experienced DOS staff members, and if that panel also denies an application, DOS must communicate the specific reasons for the denial to the applicant. The applicant can then challenge the denial and ask DOS to reconsider its decision.

Additionally, anyone birthed by a midwife who has filed an application for a passport between April 2003 and September 15, 2008 and, with a few exceptions, whose application was not expressly “denied,” can re-apply for free. DOS will be setting up mobile units across the border on specific dates to assist those reapplying.

Via Latina Lista

23 thoughts on “Latino’s born to midwives will no longer be denied passports

  1. whatsername June 29, 2009 / 8:10 pm

    Well, at least sometime there are bits of good news. 🙂

  2. mama born at home, baby born at home May 18, 2010 / 8:22 pm

    I was born at home by a midwife in Kansas in 1981 and have been told that I have to provide a slew of extra documentation because I was not born in a hospital.

    I also had my daughter in a birthing center with a midwife and am worried if we will be able to get passports. Has anyone been through this? If so, what did you provide? I don’t have any of the documents they are requesting (prenatal records, church records, etc.)

    • Joe rocha May 12, 2016 / 5:24 pm

      The system as it exists doesn’t work. Even as of today May 2016, many Americans (mostly of hispanic heritage) are being questioned on their citizenship. It’s a sad and embarrassing thing that the people that our tax dollars support financially are not making true efforts to help. The so called department heads that oversee this have no idea what it is to have been born in poverty and not having the luxury of access to a hospital birth. The State Department/Homeland Security will constantly request more and more documentation, even paperwork that does not exist. People have had to sue (most notable Castellano et al vs Clinton et al) which was initiated by the ACLU. However, the suit brought forth only individuals that were knowledgable about the suit and got on it. The suit did not make it an open case for any future citizens to use. You will more than likely get different excuses for denial but never in a written and defined format. They will say it some sort of ‘Secret’ that they only have a right to know, even thought it affects the citizen. Rights are and will be denied at their pleasure…have heard that the paperwork is being handled by government contractors but not sure.

    • America Flores July 7, 2016 / 8:49 pm

      Have you been able to get your passport? I applied a few months ago, and they asked for more information, even though my birth certificate was sent!!! This is outrageous!!! I’m 46 yrs old…..I called the schools that I went to and my elementary school says they have destroyed those records!!

  3. angel September 1, 2011 / 4:28 pm

    My husband was born at home by a midwife…..he has been rejected three times…… the first one on sep 2008, the second on oct 2009, and the last one may 2011……..we don’t know what to do, it is not true that the government approved this…..

  4. marie November 21, 2012 / 5:10 pm

    You are right, nothing happen with that agreement, the government is still denying passports for those born by midwives. 2008 through 2012 the same thing…..I wonder if one day it will change…..I dare…I am not applying for the passport….no more…until good true news……a lot of wasting time and money….no good.

    • marie November 21, 2012 / 5:17 pm

      I am very sad……because I am not able to visit my family in Mexico…since 2009 : (

  5. cebundy December 4, 2013 / 6:34 pm

    And they are still doing this. Husband was born in Crystal City Texas in 1959. His birth certificate signed by the attending doctor wasn’t enough. His baptismal certificate isn’t enough. Anyone who witnessed the birth is long gone. My husband is a decorated veteran. So it is not just midwives. And perhaps the saddest thing… the reason he was born at home was because the hospital in Crystal City was “Whites Only” at that time.

    • Juan June 18, 2016 / 1:32 pm

      I am going thru the same problem. I applied for my passport back in 2014 and till today they haven’t denied it yet. I sent all the documents that I could find but I have not hear from them since Dec. 2015. Does anyone knows if its any other class action? or some one is currently suing the state department for this? this is just BS.

      • America Flores July 7, 2016 / 8:51 pm

        I applied for the first time in April 2016….I was born in Brownsville, Tx with a midwife…..they denied my passport and are asking for more information, it upsets me that they kept my birth certificate!!! Have you heard anything back???

        • Juan July 9, 2016 / 7:40 am

          I contacted the congressman and the senators and finally . finally They decide to call the US passport office. Of course after they called I received a phone call from the US passport office. They said that I need to try to find more information and they asked to write an statement. I spoke to the senator and congressman staff about this and they say that they will keep an eye on the case but it feel like the US passport and state department they just keep asking for more and more information and documents when they know that its almost impossible to obtain records for 40 years ago. I will keep bothering the congressman and senators till someone stop this madness

          • America Flores July 9, 2016 / 10:45 am

            Juan, that’s my problem. I’m 46 years old, they want records dating backing to when I was a baby!!! The preschool I attended said they had destroyed those records. It’ s just very frustrating, I’m about to send them information that I have gathered, that is not much. But from what I have read people are getting denied 3 to 4 times. When I first got the denial in the mail I was in shock!!! After 46 years I’m being questioned about my citizenship? I also will continue to find a way to get someone to listen to us. Thanks for your recommendations.

  6. Very upset June 24, 2016 / 2:39 pm

    This is so sad to hear everyones stories I have applied for my passport and they said they were sending me a letter when I went to the agency they told me that it was due to I was born through a midwife so anyone that is was born through a Midwife will not get their passport I paid 1400 for my trip thanking that I had no problem getting my passport I’ve never been anywhere in my life this is my first lil vacation I’m crying writing this because it is not fair it has been a nightmare trying to get my passport😢😢😢😢😢 help would be appreciated

    • America Flores July 8, 2016 / 6:54 pm

      Is there anything we can do??? I mean, it’s not like this is happening to one or two people. It’s happening to numerous people, and it’s not fair!!! I’ve thought about contacting t.v. stations, radio stations and anyone else that will listen to me. I AM A U.S. CITIZEN…..the fact that I was born in a border city with a midwife should have nothing to do with my citizenship!!!!

      • radicaldoula July 8, 2016 / 6:58 pm

        I’m really sorry this is happening to you America. I’m considering looking more into this since it’s continued and writing more about the problem. The only thing I’ve heard people do is provide additional documentation to the agency.

        I’ll update this thread if I find out more.

        Abrazos and again so sorry you’re dealing with this.

        • Juan July 9, 2016 / 8:07 am

          I recently contacted the congressman and senators in my area and finally their staff called the US passport office and voila someone from the US passport office called me back after months of silence. They say that I have to work with them trying to find as much info I can about me. which I believe is just the same situation as before (asking for impossible documents) but this time I will not stop bothering the senators and congressman till they will start doing something about. Its not just me or a few people, this problem affect 1000’s or Hispanic U.S Citizens. and at the end of the day for what ? we are still here and we will be here because we are US citizens they like it or not. call your congressman, senators or any other elected official even if they are not in your area.

          Post stuff in social media. like this page

          • Valeria López July 11, 2017 / 10:56 pm

            Did you managed to solve your case? I’m desperate ):

  7. Valeria López July 11, 2017 / 10:54 pm

    I’m going through this right now, I’m frustrated, the’ve even kept my social security card and my birth certificate

  8. Gwyneth July 27, 2018 / 4:10 pm

    Not have they not stopped, they are expanding. I am white and live in KS and they rejected my birth certificate as proof of citizenship just this spring in 2018 because I was born “in a non-institutional setting”. That seems to be the new weasel phrase they are using (I’ve run into others who had that exact wording) to get around the ruling from 2009. We need lawyers on this.

  9. Gwyneth August 23, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    2018 and this is still happening. And not just in Texas. I was born and live in KS. I wasn’t even delivered by a midwife; my dad delivered me. They still wouldn’t accept my birth certificate. A Senator had to get involved and my mom had to fill out a birth affidavit for me (a form used when people don’t have birth certificates at all). I even had a passport before (this was a renewal) and they still refused to admit I’m a citizen without massive hassles. They are expanding this practice, not stopping.

    • July 25, 2019 / 9:00 am

      Has anybody with this problem received their passport? Let me know how and who helped you with your case. Thanks!

      • Gwyneth August 13, 2019 / 11:55 am

        I had to get a Senator to help. I suggest contacting both Senators in your state and your District Rep and working with whoever answers first (there is no fee). And fill out Birth Affidavits (form DS-10) which are available on-line and at passport application sites (make an appointment to apply for a new passport and then ask for the form instead). The Vital Stats office wrote a letter saying my birth certificate is real and valid when I asked them if they had any suggestions but that likely is not enough alone. And file a request for legal help with the ACLU in your state. They have sued twice on this issue, once in 2009 as a class action (Fair Issuance of Passports) and again this year (2019) for an individual.

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