The US State Department has refuted The Washington Post’s report that the number of American citizens on the Mexican border being stripped of their passports is on the rise under the current administration, saying it is merely “a political cheap shot.”
“This is an irresponsible attempt to create division and stoke fear among American citizens while attempting to inflame tensions over immigration. The facts don’t back up the Washington Post’s reporting,” Heather Nauert, a State Department spokesperson, said in a statement to Fox News on Thursday, adding that domestic passport denials in so-called "midwife cases" stand at a 6-year low.
To prove the point, the State Department sent the US media outlet a chart giving passport issue statistics proving that fewer people were denied passports in the past two years, while Trump has been in office, than in the final period of the Obama administration.
The State Department addressed the Washington Post, which had come up with the story earlier this week, that they sometimes request people suspected of having fraudulent documents to hand in additional proofs that they were actually born on the US territory and not in Mexico. The citizens in question are passport holders who have birth certificates issued by a “midwife or other birth attendant suspected of having engaged in fraudulent activities.”
The Post’s article claimed that “The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown,” thereby calling into question the citizenship of an array of individuals.
According to the US government, as far back as between the 1950s and 1990s, a number of midwives and physicians assisting on the border with Mexico had provided for money US birth certificates to babies who were actually born on Mexican territory. In some cases, medical workers involved admitted to the practice, however, many of these midwives were also birth attendants to those born legally in the country.
Illegal immigration issue runs high on President Trump’s agenda, with a battle against undocumented migration being a major presidential campaign pledge, which he recently referred to, tweeting: “Strong border, no crime.”