Thursday, June 7, 2012

Midwife birth certificates tied to immigration problems along Texas border - CNN.com

Midwife birth certificates tied to immigration problems along Texas border - CNN.com

The women's lives have taken different paths since the days they were born.

Brenda Vazquez is a 29-year-old elementary school teacher in Matamoros, Mexico. Laura Castro lives across the border in Brownsville, Texas. She is a 32-year-old housewife who helps her husband manage several stores.

They share one thing in common: Both say they were delivered by midwives in south Texas, but pressured by U.S. Border Patrol agents to deny their U.S. citizenship.

Their problems began, according to attorney Jaime Diez, when a group of midwives along the U.S.-Mexico border were found guilty of selling birth certificates to people who were not born in the United States.

"Now all the midwives in the area are suspected of committing fraud," said Diez, who said his office regularly sees cases of people delivered by midwives in Texas. Some of them are struggling to get passports because officials question the validity of their birth certificates, he said. Others have been deported and had their identification documents confiscated at the border, he said.

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