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(NEWSER) – The Mexican government today will start issuing birth certificates to its citizens at consulates in the United States, seeking to make it easier for them to apply for US work permits, driver's licenses, and protection from deportation. Until now, Mexico has required citizens to get birth certificates at government offices in Mexico. Many of those in the US ask friends and relatives back home to retrieve them, which can delay their applications for immigration or other programs.

Now, even as Republicans in Congress try to quash President Obama's reprieve, Mexico is trying to help them apply for programs that would allow them to remain temporarily in the country and continue sending money back to relatives across the border. "It is a huge help. It helps individuals really begin to formulate their formal identity in this country," says the director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

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