There is a backstory: In the 1990s, some Texas midwives admitted accepting bribes to falsely claim that some Mexican infants were born in the United States. These same midwives, however, also delivered many more Latino babies, at least thousands, who were legitimately born in the United States. From official records, it is impossible to tell the difference.
The Trump administration appears to be denying passports simply because the applicant is Latino, was born in southern Texas and was delivered by a midwife — something the federal government explicitly promised not to do in a 2009 court settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union.
The administration claims there has been no change in policy. But The Post quoted immigration lawyers who say there has been a dramatic surge in passport denials.
In Juan’s case, the State Department demanded he produce documents including proof of his mother’s prenatal care in the United States, his baptismal certificate and rental agreements from when he was an infant. He managed to find some of this obscure material — and yet his passport application was denied a second time.
If the government had specific evidence that an individual’s birth certificate was falsified, then we could have a debate about the right thing to do. But this administration is assuming that a person of a certain ethnicity, recorded as being born in a certain part of the country and meeting other unspecified criteria, is de facto not a citizen — and has the burden of proving otherwise.
At this point, the Trump administration has the burden of proving this is anything other than vile, unadulterated racism.
Trump launched his presidential campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers. His administration cruelly separated nearly 3,000 migrant children from their families and seeks to make their parents ineligible for asylum. His clear message to would-be Latino immigrants is: No admission.
And now, an equally blunt message for lifelong Latino citizens: Go away.