In January 2005, Nicolaza Eusiquio gave birth to a boy in a migrant camp. The only witness to the birth was her cousin who helped her with the new born. The mother received no form of medical care, be it prenatal or post delivery.
Eusiquio then sought registration of the boy at the Oregon Center for Health Statistics a year later. Having no proof of her pregnancy, she offered only her word and her cousin’s testimony to prove the child was born in the United States.
As a matter of form, the state registrar refused to register the child under delayed birth certificate registration. She was required to show proof that she was in Oregon during the child’s birth. A case was filed in Marion County Circuit Court, who upheld the decision of the state registrar.
This decision was overturned by the Oregon Court of Appeals earlier this year. The decision upheld the fact that the statements of the mother and cousin were enough proof to comply with the legal requirements. The case was returned to the lower court to require the state registrar to issue an Oregon birth certificate.
This case is important as the immigration discussion heats up both at the state and federal level. This becomes all the more important as the birth certificate is the seminal document for other documentation such as driver’s license to enrolment in school. This is also important as the discussion of allowing illegal immigrant children to have US citizenship on the basis of being born in the country.