- The Washington Times - Friday, July 24, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley on Friday blasted Texas for denying birth certificates to some U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants without valid identification documents, declaring that “citizenship is a human right.”

“Denying birth certificates to U.S, citizens is not only outrageous, it’s unconstitutional,” the former Maryland governor said in a statement released in English and Spanish.

“The 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution could not be clearer. It states that ‘all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside,’ ” he said. “The Texas Department of State Health services should cease this discriminatory and unconstitutional practice immediately. Citizenship is a human right.”

Mr. O’Malley has attempted to challenge Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on immigration, proposing the most sweeping plans for amnesty and expanding rights for illegal immigrants of any candidate.

A group of 19 illegal immigrant parents and their 23 children have filed suit against the Texas Department of State Health Services after officials refused to issue birth certificates the U.S.-born children, citing invalid forms of identification.

The parents came from Mexico and Central America and live in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, along the U.S.-Mexico border. Although the parents are not citizens, their U.S.-born children are citizens by birthright under the 14th Amendment.

Texas health officials asking the judge to dismiss a lawsuit Wednesday, arguing that court lacks jurisdiction over claims against the state agency. Lawyers for the agency also argued that Texas has sovereign immunity and cannot be sued and that its policy does not interfere with any federal regulation.

Texas, they said, has the “power to control the circumstances under which it will provide copies of birth certificates.”

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