Attorneys for the state of Texas argued in federal court in Austin on Oct. 2 that a lawsuit joined by dozens of undocumented Texans has nothing to do with their U.S.-born children being denied birth certificates by the state vital statistics unit. Instead, the attorneys claimed, the suit is a ruse to compel the state to accept Mexican consulate-issued identification.

“This is more about the legitimacy of the matricula, I’m just throwing that out there,” argued Thomas Albright, an assistant attorney general for the state, referring to the contested form of photo identification that Department of State Health Services (DSHS) says it will not accept, and has never accepted, as proof of identity for undocumented parents seeking birth certificates for their American-born kids.

Oct. 2 was the first time attorneys have appeared in court over the lawsuit, which was originally filed in May by four undocumented women from the Rio Grande Valley who allege that the state has wrongly denied them access to their children’s documents. They allege that in previous years, the state accepted the matricula consular for their now-older children as part of a selection of documents parents could use to prove their relationship. The matricula is a photo ID that the Mexican consulate issues to Mexican nationals living in the United States.

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