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Keep Houston Press Free
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The Immigration Cops Hate Midwives

Hispanics in south Texas who were delivered by midwives are having a tough time proving their citizenship these days, the

Wall Street Journal

reports today.

Thanks to a scandal in the early 1990’s, when some midwives fraudulently obtained U.S. birth certificates for kids born in Mexico, the State Department no longer trusts anyone in the region delivered by a midwife. The big reason this is a problem now is because a law going into effect next year requires Americans to have passports when visiting Mexico or Canada.

“If you really look at this issue, it’s ridiculous,” Kelli Beaty, president of the Midland-based Association of Texas Midwives, tells Hair Balls.

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Beaty, who’s been a midwife for 18 years, says her office has received a lot of calls over the past two years from people desperate to prove their citizenship – many of whom are trying to track down the midwives who delivered them. Beaty wonders why, with millions of illegal aliens in the country, the government would want to target this select population.

“For example, there’s a woman that has gone to the school system here her entire life,” Beaty says, “lived in this country her entire life, was delivered by a midwife, went to school here, has had all her immunizations, hospitalizing, given birth to her own children…in this country. Gone to college here, and now suddenly her citizenship is in question? I mean, you got to be kidding me. They issued a birth certificate, she’s been paying taxes as an adult for how many years? So…it’s difficult for us to understand the issue, exactly.”

FYI, midwives licensed in Texas are regulated by the Texas Midwifery Board, an office under the Texas Department of State Health Services. According to the Association of Texas Midwives’ website, there are approximately 150 licensed midwives in Texas.

-- Craig Malisow

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