A new policy came about last July in the state of Indiana that required unmarried parents to provide Social Security numbers in order to establish paternity, which would mean that illegal immigrants would have difficulties establishing themselves as parents of their own children. However, the Indianapolis Star reported that a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction this week barring this policy in the state.
District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled that the policy violates the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof." The state's Attorney General's Office will now have to decide whether to appeal the ruling.
The Indiana decision comes at a time when Arizona lawmakers are looking to challenge the right to U.S. citizenship for the children of legal and illegal immigrants born in the state. Reuters reports that Republicans will be introducing a bill to the Arizona Legislature that seeks to deny citizenship to any child born of parents who are not citizens of the United States. The proposed law follows the state's tough immigration crackdown last year through SB 1070.
Many family lawyers argue that everybody should have the right to be able to establish paternity. Without the establishment of paternity, child support cannot be collected and children might grow up without a legal father. FindLaw states that paternity also secures the right of the child to inherit and the right to access personal information about the known health risks and profiles of the paternal family.