Hold on U.S. passport could cost one valley woman thousands

Hilda Vela said she did everything by the books-but still her application for a U.S. passport is under review.

Hilda said the doctor that delivered her back in 1978 is under investigation for allegedly submitting false birth records.

She said, since submitting her first round of paperwork, she has had to fight to get even more documents, just to prove she is a U.S. citizen.

"They gave me a long list," Vela said. "They want an autobiography of my life, where I went to school, where I've worked, what I've done, and where I've lived. I also have to submit information on my siblings and parents, birth's a long, long list."

Vela said luckily her mother saved everything.

"I can prove it because my parents kept a lot of their documents," Vela said. "However, when I contacted the passport office to tell them I had all of the documents they told me they weren't sure how much longer the process would take.

The rush, Vela and her family are supposed to go to Costa Rica in August.

It was a trip that cost them $10,000 and that they have saved and planned for-for two years.

"Unfortunately I can't get any type of refund if I don't get my passport," Vela said. "That is going to be a lot of money that I'll be losing."

Action 4 News did contact Congressman Henry Cuellar's office to see if there was anything they could do to help out Vela.

Cuellar's staff said they would look into the matter and hopefully have it resolved before Vela's trip in August.