Midwife Signed Birth Certificate | Civil Justice Attorney
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Since June 2009, U.S. citizens have been required to have passports when they enter or leave the United States soil to or from neighboring countries. To get a passport, citizens need to furnish a birth certificate. However, there have been growing concerns about passport denial and revocations, as well as wrongful detention and deportation for citizens with a midwife signed birth certificate. If you have been denied your rights as a U.S. citizen, contact The Carlson Law Firm to discuss your next steps with a qualified birth certificate wrongful deportation civil justice attorney.
In the federal government’s quest to keep undocumented immigrants from entering and staying in the United States, it is trampling on the rights of its citizens. In fact, this trampling of rights is becoming an increasing reality of citizens who have had their birth certificates signed by midwives. Many parents prefer home births—particularly those who can’t afford the rising costs of hospital deliveries or who live in remote areas of the country. In addition, a growing number of affluent, urban parents now prefer home births as well. However, because of allegations that midwives on the Texas border were selling birth certificates, those who have had certificates signed by a midwife are facing increasing scrutiny over their claims to U.S. citizenship. This has become a significant problem for those with Hispanic surnames and being born at home.
The Carlson Law Firm has more than 40 years of fighting for your rights. We can help you navigate the complex legal system to bring a case against the federal government. Contact our a firm today to discuss your case with a birth certificate wrongful deportation civil justice attorney.
What is a Midwife?
A midwife is a person trained to assist pregnant women during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. In some cases, midwives provide primary care for women including well-woman exams, disease prevention, and other family planning options. In many cases, midwives undergo formal training to become certified or licensed. There are about 15,000 practicing midwives in the United States. The American College of Nurse-Midwives reports that certified nursing midwives and certified midwives attended 332,107 births in 2014. This accounts for approximately 12.1 percent of all vaginal births, or 8.3 percent of the total U.S. births. The number of midwives attending births has risen nearly every year since 2005.
People who live in rural areas or have low income have less access to doctors. As a result, these people are more likely to use a midwife for the safe delivery of their child(ren).
What is a certified nurse midwife (CNM)?
A midwife with a dual education as a registered nurse as well as in midwifery and women’s earns the distinction of a certified nurse midwife. Since 2010, CNMs are required to hold a graduate degree such as a Master of Science in Nursing or a Master of Science in Midwifery. They may also hold a Doctor of Nursing Practice to earn a CNM certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). Those holding a CNM distinction may use their license to practice in all 50 states. They may also prescribe medication with some limitation and variations.
What is a certified midwife (CM)?
The American Midwifery Certification Board also certifies anyone seeking a certified midwife distinction. The hope with creating a CM was to expand routes of entry to midwifery education. The certified midwife follows the same program as a CNM, however, their licenses are limited to four states.
What is a licensed midwife?
A licensed midwife is a midwife who may practice in a particular state. As of 2018, licensure for direct-entry midwives is available in 31 states.
Filing a Birth Certificate in Texas
Every child born in Texas must have a birth record. Therefore, the physician, midwife or person acting as a midwife must file a birth certificate with the local registration district. Typically, when a birth occurs in a hospital or birthing center, the administrator or designee of the appropriate administrator will file the birth certificate in lieu of the physician, midwife or another acting as a midwife.
When no physician, midwife or person acting as a midwife is in attendance, or the birth does not occur in a hospital or birthing center, one of the following can report the child’s birth:
- Father of the child
- Mother of the child
- Owner or householder of the premises where the birth occurs
If a child is born while on the way to the hospital, the hospital can confirm that the child was born in the vehicle. When this occurs, the hospital administration would be responsible for filing the birth certificate. In addition, the birth certificate will state that the child was born “en-route to the facility.” The facility where the child was first removed from the vehicle would be listed in the “name of Hospital” section.
Why are Midwife Signed Birth Certificates Under Scrutiny?
With the advancement of medical technology and most states requiring mandatory birth registration and certificate laws, there has been a decades-long campaign against midwifery creating mistrust and a discrediting of the women who practice it. But in the mid-1990s, several allegations arose in South Texas of midwives submitting false birth certificates. At the time, South Texas midwives performed a little more than 10 percent of births in the area.
In the largest birth certificate scam uncovered by the U.S. Immigration Naturalization Service, the predecessor to the Immigration Customs and Enforcement, from the 1960s-1990s, 65 midwives were convicted of fraud for creating fake birth certificates for people actually born in Mexico. Over that nearly 40-year period, only 15,000 fraudulent birth certificates were discovered. This is a very small number when considering that midwives attend more than 300,000 births each year.
Parents of these children would pay midwives several hundred to thousands of dollars to secure a U.S. birth certificate for their children. It is important to note, that no one knows exactly how many times this occurred. Additionally, these cases of fraud occurred decades ago. As a result, the federal government has an uphill battle in distinguishing between fraudulent birth certificates obtained decades ago and the thousands of people who were born legally in the United States. In doing so, the government is trampling on the rights of U.S. citizens by revoking passports and deporting them to countries that are not their homes.
If your midwife signed birth certificate led to a wrongful deportation, contact The Carlson Law Firm. Consultations with our knowledgeable birth certificate wrongful deportation lawyer are completely free.
What is happening to American Citizens with Midwife signed birth certificates?
Midwives accused of running selling fraud birth certificates led to the widespread discrimination against those born in South Texas and delivered by a midwife. The few cases of birth certificate fraud have led to following struggles for anyone whose birth was witnessed and filed by a midwife:
- Passport denials (even if the State Department has already issued one)
- Wrongful detentions in immigration detention centers
- Entered into wrongful deportation proceedings
- Stuck in another country because of sudden passport revocation
It is impossible to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate birth certificate documents. The state of Texas issued these birth certificates, in some cases, decades ago. But this hasn’t stopped the current administration from denying and revoking passports. For years, the state department has required border residents to provide all sorts of supplementary proof of citizenship. The documents asked for include newspaper birth announcements and high school yearbook photos. Rejected applicants include children, senior citizens, U.S. military veterans and federal employees. The vetting process is so arbitrary, that there have been cases where some siblings receive passports while others are denied.
American Civil Liberties Union Class Action Lawsuit
While all eyes are focused on the current Presidential Administration passport denials and revocations, both the Bush and Obama Administrations routinely denied passports to people whose birth certificates were signed by South Texas midwives. For these reasons, the ACLU brought a class action lawsuit against the government in 2008.
The ACLU argued that the government was “violating the due process and equal protection rights of virtually all mid-wife delivered U.S. citizens living in the southern border region.” The government agreed to settle. As a result of this settlement, in 2009, the government said it would no longer discriminate against those from border states who were born at home.
However, as the Trump Administration continues to make moves to reduce both legal and illegal immigration, this agreement is no longer in practice. The administration is accusing hundreds of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies.
How does Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Affect Those Midwife-Signed Birth Certificates?
People living on the Texas border have always traveled between Mexico and the U.S. to visit family or shop. However, in 2007, the Bush Administration implemented the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). The initiative is a legal framework that requires those traveling into the U.S. from Western Hemisphere countries to show passports or other approved secure documents. Both the U.S. Department of State and Department of Homeland Security say the measures strengthens border security. Additionally, the WHTI also deters and prevents the use of forged documents.
This legislation led to increased scrutiny of the birth certificates to those not born in a U.S. hospital. This is because more people began applying for the required travel documents.
What Happens When a Birth Certificate isn’t enough?
There have been several notable cases where the federal government has retroactively declared that American citizens weren’t citizens. Unfortunately, this isn’t an issue that is unique to people born on the Texas U.S.-Mexico border. Citizens who were not born in a hospital are having to go the extra mile to prove citizenship. However, there is no policy stating that a birth certificate must come from a hospital or other official institution. In lieu of a birth certificate, the State Department is asking people to submit early public or private documents that were created and/or issued early in the applicant’s life—preferably in the first five years. Additionally, these records should include the applicant’s full name, date of birth, and place of birth. Examples include:
- Baptism certificate
- Hospital birth certificate (often shows baby’s footprints)
- U.S. Census record
- Early school records
- Family Bible record
- Doctor’s records of post-natal care
- Form DS-10, Birth Affidavit (this form is for applicants whose birth in the United States was recorded more than one year late or who have a Letter of No Record)
Many people have trouble providing these documents. Some may not be religious while others may no longer have them in their possession. These documents could’ve have been lost in a house fire or accidentally thrown out during a move. When these documents cannot be provided, the struggle of proving citizenship may be insurmountable. Without these secondary documents, you are at risk for wrongful deportation.
How Can a Wrongful Deportation Civil Justice Attorney Help Me?
It is unimaginable to live your life as a U.S. citizen entitled to all of the privileges that come along with said citizenship. Only to travel abroad and have a customs agent stop you from returning to your home, job or family. Or endure the frustration of the State Department denying your right to freely leave U.S. borders by not issuing your passport. For years, citizens have had their rights violated by the federal government spawned by accusations of birth certificate fraud. These allegations have led to deportations, detentions and passport revocations while abroad. If the federal government deemed your midwife signed birth certificate invalid, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
There are several reported cases where citizens end up stranded in foreign countries without access to legal counsel. However, if you prove that you’re an American citizen, you can seek damages from the United States government.
This egregious mistake, when carried out by government officials, is a violation of your civil rights. The Fourth Amendment protects U.S. citizens against unreasonable seizure. A Wrongful Deportation Civil Justice Attorney from The Carlson Law Firm can help you file a claim under the:
- Federal Tort Claims Act
- 1983 Claim – Civil action for deprivation of rights
- Bivens Claim
Rebuilding your life after a wrongful deportation can be a long and difficult process. However, you can begin your recovery with the help of a qualified wrongful deportation civil justice lawyer.
The Carlson Law Firm – We care. We Can Help.
Being told that your citizenship is being questioned because it is midwife signed can be a scary and frustrating situation. What is even scarier, is when you are wrongfully deported because of this. The number of fraud birth certificates is extremely low when compared to the number of births in the United States every year. Civil rights laws are complex and it may be hard to prove a violation on your own. However, with a Carlson Law Firm’s wrongful deportation civil justice attorney by your side, we can assure you that you have an attorney who cares. Our attorney will fight aggressively to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
We have more than 40 years of experience dedicated to protecting your rights. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful deportation civil justice attorney. Se habla español.