More than 250,000 children who are U.S. citizens live in Mexico. They left their country when their parents got deported and now they confront serious problems to continue their education.
The Mexican education system requires foreign children who enroll in basic education to provide a certified copy of their birth certificate (“apostillado”) or an equivalent legal document.
This is not an exotic or extravagant requirement, but it is difficult to comply with. Deported parents do not leave the U.S. under normal conditions, carrying the necessary documentation to live in Mexico, and having the knowledge of what will be required. In order to obtain the “apostillado,” you need to contact directly the Secretary of State of the State in which the child was born, to certify the birth certificate.
This cumbersome process is considered one of the main obstacles to formalize the children’s entry to the Mexican education system, according to the country’s Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI).
The National Register of Students and the Official Register of Academic Documents and Certification estimated that during the 2013-2014 school cycle there were 307,125 foreign children enrolled in basic education; 289,727 of them are U.S. citizens.
Many of them, lacking a certified birth certificate, are enrolled temporarily and do not receive report cards or certificate of Primary or Secondary school.
This situation delays and even frustrates the education of those minors, forced migrants who were penalized both with their parents’ deportation, and now with the bureaucratic obstacles that prevent them from studying. Instead of being trained to integrate a North American regional society, they seem to belong nowhere.
Mexico should ease the requirement of the “apostillado,” and increase the consular registry of children born in the U.S. of Mexican parents, among other measures.
Deportation is a traumatic experience to which the destruction of the children’s future should not be added due to lack of school. They are the cross-border citizens of the future