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Texas may continue to deny citizenship to US-born children of immigrants during civil rights lawsuit: judge

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Texas officials do not have to make it easier for undocumented immigrants to get birth certificates for their children born in the state while a legal challenge proceeds in court, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman declined to grant a preliminary injunction on Friday in a civil rights lawsuit filed in May over how Texas is complying with the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which grants citizenship to any child born on U.S. soil, regardless of parentage.

The issue of U.S. citizenship for children of illegal immigrants has become an issue in the November 2016 presidential campaign with Republican candidate Donald Trump questioning the automatic granting of citizenship and Jeb Bush drawing fire for his comments on the issue.

Non-profit groups Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and the Texas Civil Rights Project filed the lawsuit on behalf of six children and their immigrant parents alleging the children were denied birth certificates because their parents lacked proof of U.S. citizenship or legal status.

In the lawsuit the groups sought a court order that Texas-born children of immigrants are entitled to birth certificates, and said their constitutional rights were being violated.

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While the lawsuit is decided, the groups asked the judge to issue a preliminary injunction to force the state to accept two forms of identification that mothers can easily provide when they seek birth certificates for their children.

In recent years Texas state officials have become less willing to accept the matricula, an identification card issued by Mexican consulates in the United States, as valid identification for parents seeking birth certificates for their children.

Judge Pitman said evidence presented by the plaintiffs “raises grave concerns regarding the treatment of citizen children born to immigrant parents.”

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But he also said a preliminary injunction was an extreme form of relief and not warranted while he explores the facts of the case.

“The evidence establishes defendants have a compelling governmental interest in regulating with care the process of accessing birth certificates,” he wrote.

Reuters was not able to immediately reach lawyers for the plaintiffs on Saturday.

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The case is Maria Isabel Perales Serna, et al vs Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Statistics Unit, et al, case number 1-15-cv-446 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division.


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Trump’s racism is ‘disqualifying’ for him to remain as president: former White House lawyer

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Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained on MSNBC on Thursday why he viewed President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four women of color in Congress as disqualifying.

Anchor Brian Williams read a quote from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

"Half of the country is appalled but not really sure how to combat him; the other half is cheering, or at least averting its gaze. This is what a political civil war looks like, with words, for now, as weapons," Glasser wrote.

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Lawrence O’Donnell reports on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump

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Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump during Thursday evening's "The Last Word" on MSNBC.

"The House of Representatives conducted a symbolic vote on a hastily written impeachment resolution by Democratic Congressman Al Green in reaction to the president’s tweeted comments that the House of Representatives voted to condemn as racist," O'Donnell reported. "The impeachment resolution had nothing to do with the [Robert] Mueller investigation and referred only to the president being unfit for office because of the language that he has used recently about members of Congress and immigrants and asylum seekers."

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Video proves how far the Trump’s GOP has gone from the era of Ronald Reagan and HW Bush

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The immigration policies of Donald Trump’s presidency would have no room for his GOP predecessors Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush—who both embraced work visas, family unification, easy border crossings and a better relationship with Mexico.

That counterpoint can be seen in a very short video clip from the 1980 presidential election where Reagan and Bush—who became Reagan’s vice president for two terms before winning the presidency in 1988—were asked about immigration at a campaign debate in Texas. Their responses show just how far to the right the Republican Party’s current leader, President Trump, and voters who have not left the GOP to become self-described political independents, have moved on immigration.

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