Media Bias: Washington Post on Passport Denials

An August 31 Washington Post front page blurb calling attention to an inside story states: “Democratic lawmakers are calling for hearings into the government’s policy of denying U.S. passports to Hispanic Americans.” The inside report is headed: “Democrats in Congress urge hearings on denial of passports to Americans.”

The source of the news report (the second day the story is covered in the Post) is identified as Texas Democrat Reps. Joaquin Castro and Vicente Gonzalez, and it turns out those who are being denied passports are those believed by the U.S. State Department to not be U.S. citizens. Those affected are persons born at home and presenting a birth certificate issued by a midwife practicing along the border with Mexico. The problem with those birth certificates comes from documented cases proving that the at least some of the children were born in Mexico and the mother bribed the midwives to falsely document the children as U.S.-born.

So, the Post’s bias is shown in the inflammatory blurb suggesting that the issue is one of anti-Hispanic bias (implying U.S. citizen Hispanics are the target), and this is magnified by the inside heading that identifies those targeted as “Americans,” which also implies they are U.S. citizens.

Digging deeper into the story reveals that the facts point to the action as one of passport denial based on a proven incidence of false birth certificates issued by midwives in the border region. Additionally, the supposed news is not new at all. The denial of passports to those presenting presumed fraudulent birth certificates from the border region has been ongoing for years. Furthermore, data released by the State Department indicates that the denial of passports to holders of questionable birth certificates has, in fact, declined under the Trump administration compared with the Obama administration. This was reported by Fox News on August 31.

If there is nothing new in the anti-fraud efforts of the Department of State, why is this being treated as news by the Post? It seems reasonable to conclude the reason is that it fits in with a bias against Trump and against his immigration reform policy.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar
    Veronica M Reimann on

    Why did they not apply for Mexican passports if their parents were Mexicans. Does not make sense. If you do not have proof of American citizenship & your parents are Mexicans then you are a Mexican like most countries around the globe you are citizens of the country your parents are citizens of . If you are a legal immigrate after a few years you may apply & study to be an American citizen in the USA . Why does everyone make it so hard . That is the simple facts

  2. avatar

    Imagine a Gestapo goon diligently tracking down and capturing Jews, until one day a notice from the archives reveals something about his ancestors that he never knew. Suddenly, he is classified as a Jew, and of course his years of proud, dedicated and loyal service to Hitler mean nothing to the crazy Nazis. He thought this could never happen to him. He thought he was superior to those other persons. How can the authorities do this to him?

    The hilarious part of the Washington Post article is where it says some victims are U.S. Border Patrol agents. Please, God, let the Mexican bureaucrats refuse to take them, and let them wind up in Haiti instead! Sweet justice!

  3. avatar

    That’s funny. I thought Mexico was a sovereign state. Why would the US Government need to approve Mexican passport applications?

    • avatar

      It says in the second line of the story “US passports for Hispanic Americans”. Nothing to do with Mexican passports. The question is whether these people were born in this country or Mexico and whether a midwife may have testified they were born here when they weren’t.

  4. avatar

    Here is where WaPo really got creative with their fake news: “Under President Trump the passport denials and revocations appear to be surging.” Uh, “appear”? They are or they aren’t. Instead figures provided by the administration prove they have fallen. Denials: 2015–35.9%, 2016–34.0%, 2017–28.1%, 2018 YTD–25.8%. Once again our 1984 press insists that everything that happened before Trump never took place.

    In fact, the Post wrote in 2008: “An INS list last updated in October 2002 identifies at least 65 midwives who have been convicted of fraud.” But that was then and now it’s jump on the anti-Trump bandwagon even if they have to make it up.

    Nor is this fraud confined to the southern border. The government of Puerto Rico, under pressure from the US government, cancelled every birth certificate from Puerto Rico issued before July 2010 because of the fact that many foreign citizens were obtaining fraudulent copies there, which made them US citizens free to come to the mainland.

    At the time reported: “As much as 40% of the identity fraud in the US involves birth certificates from Puerto Rico.” But let’s make them a state. Another corrupt welfare dependent leftist paradise.

  5. avatar

    This story highlights the problem created by women who are illegally in the US, but happen to break – or merely CLAIM to have broken – their water on territory north of the US/Mexico border.

  6. avatar

    A better question is why would two American legislators, Joaquin Castro and Vicente Gonzalez, purposefully lie and then ensure the lie would be published by the Washington Post? We all know the answer; however, we want to know why these two corrupted politicians remain in office.