abafcfab6bed49026b0f6a7067001420The Mexican government on Thursday will start issuing birth certificates to its citizens at consulates in the United States, seeking to make it easier for them to apply for U.S. 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 living in the U.S. 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 Barack Obama’s reprieve to millions of immigrants living illegally in the U.S., 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,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. About half of the 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally are from Mexico, and immigration experts estimate that roughly 3 million Mexicans could be eligible to apply for work permits and protection from deportation under the administration’s plan. More