Valley Woman Delivered by Midwife Denied Passport

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MCALLEN – A Rio Grande Valley mother says she’s in danger of being separated from her family. The problem is linked back to the day she was born.

The U.S. government said because she was delivered by a midwife she can’t travel overseas for now.

Unless she can prove she's an American she'll be away from her family for at least four years.

“Now I feel like a seagull without a port to land on,” Santos Aguilar said.

Aguilar was born and raised in Brownsville. She said she and her husband worked hard for every cent they’ve earned.

Recently, that hard work paid off when her husband was assigned a work transfer to the island of Aruba. The family applied for passports.

“They got cleared, they got their passports, they’re ready to go. To my surprise I can’t,” Aguilar told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Aguilar said she received a letter from the State Department explaining that since she was born to a midwife in Brownsville in 1962, she would need to provide additional proof she was born in the U.S. such as her mother’s pre and post-natal care records and maternity clinic records among others.

Why? The letter states that during the time of Aguilar’s birth, a number of midwives committed fraud.

“I mean, I’m an American and I can’t even … my mother has a passport and I don’t. I don’t understand it,” Aguilar explained.

The 55-year-old Aguilar said her mother is now 90 years old and doesn’t have those records or a way of obtaining them.

Aguilar is concerned because her family leaves in March. We headed to attorney Jaime Diez. He explained this is a case he sees all too often. He says Aguilar needs to take action immediately.

“You need to respond to everything they have and if you don’t have a response because you don’t know the response, you give them time to make a decision,” Diez told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Diez said if the State Department then denies your passport request there is only one action left to take.

“Then you need to go and see an attorney to file a lawsuit and go into federal court and present your case,” Diez explained.

Diez explained the trial could last upwards of eight months, so the sooner the better. Aguilar said she is willing to do what needs to be done to keep her family together.

Diez tells us he has decided to work with Aguilar to help her obtain her passport.

We will continue monitoring the situation and keep you up to date on the battle for Aguilar’s passport.

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