“The Invisibles” is an investigative documentary revealing how some Texas-born children - U.S. citizens - end up suffering in Mexico, unable to see a doctor or attend school because of a paperwork nightmare the State of Texas has the power to eliminate.
Many of those children leave the U.S. abruptly when their parents are deported or return to Mexico voluntarily. The children often leave without their Texas birth records, documents they need to register for government services in Mexico. When parents contact Texas to get their child's records, they encounter a lack of assistance and lengthy delays putting children’s lives in limbo, and in some cases even at risk.
Our investigation found Texas does not cooperate in an international system - an electronic records hub that most states use to help foreign officials verify birth records immediately. Some advocates believe Texas officials have declined to participate in order to punish Mexican parents who had children while living undocumented in the U.S.
Records we obtained also show a massive backlog of requests for birth records and lengthy processing times at the State’s Office of Vital Statistics, leaving families in Mexico waiting months and months for a response. Those delays risk inflicting devastating impacts on children. One young boy we interviewed is in danger of losing his hearing. He could not obtain medical care in Mexico for 10 months while waiting for his Texas birth records.