Mexican Consulate Opens Immigrant Legal Center
By Mario Conde
The Mexican Consulate in Calexico announced the opening of a legal help center to help Mexican immigrants in Imperial Valley concerned about the federal government’s promised crackdown on those in the country illegally.
The Consulate in Calexico, along with other Mexican consulates across the country, will provide Mexican nationals legal advice on basic immigration matters, Consul General Carlos Flores Vizcarra stated in the press conference. The centers will provide immigration attorneys and law clinics to give legal advice and information to who fear deportation by Immigration and Customs.
This move by the Mexican government is in response to the Trump Administration’s executive orders regarding immigration. President Trump has signed an Executive Order to enhance the public safety of Americans through the enforcement of immigration laws and has directed the halt of funding to jurisdiction in the United States that do not comply with Federal immigration rules. Following through on President Trump’s direction, the Department of Homeland Security will hire 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and agents and 500 border patrol agents.
Consul Flores Vizcarra said that the Mexican government is giving financial resources to take care of these booths so they can have someone there every day to help people who have question or need legal advice.
“We want to give a message those all Mexicans that live in the United States, regardless of their legal status, that they are all important to the government of Mexico,” Vizcarra said. “Our goal is to provide legal help with the support of non-governmental organizations, law firms, law clinics, law schools and groups that defend immigrants.”
Consul Vizcarra said that there are also faith-based organizations like the Calexico Methodist Church is also supporting the consulate giving information about immigration rights.
Reverend Guadalupe Alonzo said they are giving citizenship and English learning classes and how to fill out forms.
“We are giving legal consultation through pro-bono lawyers for those who are working on their immigration status,” Alonzo said. “The Methodist Church has always been known to connect spirituality with social action, those of us that belong to the United Methodist are people are involved in the community, our faith needs to be reflected in our community service.”
Vizcarra added that there will workshops titled “Know Your Rights” that will have the purpose of letting people know how to act and learn about their constitutional rights in the event of an immigration arrest. There would also be immigration screening workshops and will be promoting on how to get double nationality.
“We will put mechanism in place to quickly respond when they need our help and also will be going more to the immigrant detention facilities will pay more attention in abuse by authorities when an arrest is made and provide them with legal services. We will also pay more attention in cases where employer abuse is happening against immigrants,” Consul Vizcarra said.