Monday, March 20, 2017



5.5 million undocumented vulnerable,: Consul of Mexico in Tucson
Bertha Becerra
Sunday March 19, 2017 in Mexico


Of the 34 million Mexicans in the United States, 12 million were born in Mexico.
Of this total 5.5 million do not have documents.

"And towards them, the consular attention and protection is concentrated.
They are highly vulnerable nationals because of the lack of documents and to whom we provide our services, "says the career diplomat, since June 2013 as the Consul of Mexico in Tucson, Arizona,
Ricardo Pineda Albarrán.

In a telephone interview he maintains that all the Consular Network in the United States has a record of all the dreamers. In all the American Union are over 700 thousand, the great majority are of Mexican descent. "So far, there is no guidance from President Trump's administration and its status is not affected. But we are aware of their situation.

And with respect to Mexicans detained, there are more than 8,000 people in the 18 detention centers served by the Consulate. "The majority for the so-called 'migratory crimes'. They are not the 'bad men', the criminals President Trump says, he says.

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He is a diplomat with ministerial rank that attends the consular needs of the Mexicans through the Information and Assistance Center to Mexicans -IAM-, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year:

Since the hardening, increased immigration control of the new administration, with this increase in consular services, "we have achieved closeness with our compatriots and also doubled the consular assistance activities both in the offices in Tucson and in the Mobile Consulates and On Wheels. The number of personnel increased, that is, human resources were doubled and electronic means were raised to provide the best care to our nationals, "he emphasizes.

Of the hundred percent of the requests are of diverse concerns of information, of localization of relatives, about consular procedures and of the multiple services that the Consular Network in the United States offers. Calls increased from 400 to 700 to 1,300 to 1,600 daily.

70% are about consular procedures and 30% are calls for protection, when they have doubts about their situation and need access to lawyers and advice from the consulate and are referred to the consulates depending on their location and law professionals and To information workshops and seminars, whose dates are published in social networks and media. He said that 30% of calls are from Mexico.

He comments that since the tightening of measures, the greater immigration control of the new administration in the United States, there has not been a substantial increase in the number of returnees. "It has stayed more or less the same."

He recalled that in the administration of President Barack Obama were 3 million returnees of which 2 million were Mexican citizens. Monthly numbers have not changed. We do not have any important leaps. The general levels are maintained.

The information and care covers the entire spectrum of legal protection for nationals. From assistance on how to act if police or immigration authorities arrive to knock on their doors, that is, they are advised that they must demand identification of authorities; Which must be ordered by a judge; Let them not speak to anyone, let them be silent; But above all, do not open the doors of their houses.

And he emphasizes: "They are informed about what the consular notification is. It is a tool through which consulates protect rights when Mexican citizens have been detained or arrested.

"They are reminded that they have the right to have the authorities give notice to the nearest consulate about their legal status. They are told: "It is your right, if they detain or arrest you."

More information: Immigration is a privilege, not a right: Trump

In this way, the consulate can provide guidance and consular services and ensure that their rights are respected at all times according to local laws. Workshops are organized to enable them to make informed decisions about their rights, such as dual nationality and migratory diagnoses.

In addition, the Center of Defense offers direct counseling and legal advice with the support of a strengthened network of local and national allies. The legal representation needs of the nationals are met and are offered at the consular headquarters and at mobile and wheeled consulates.

It provides preventive information about its possible return and matters such as the temporary custody of children and the management of their assets.

In addition there are Mobile Consulates and On Wheels, whose operation is scheduled 5 to 10 times per year. And they go to remote places that are 3 to 6 hours away. "And this is done not to leave helpless the compatriots who work or live in remote places far from the consular offices.

There are also Sabbath days. "The idea is to provide service for all those nationals who can not go to the Consulate on business days," he says.

He emphasized that what prevails is the service mystique. "In the CIAM, part of the training to all the consular staff that attends is to go out on the field, to know the avatars of for example migrants crossing dangerous lands, so that they are aware of the vicissitudes that our compatriots face."

What about the assets such as bank accounts, household and electronic goods as well as real estate that the Mexicans can leave if they are repatriated in those operations carried out by United States Migration Officers?

-When leaving assets or pending issues in the United States are served through the program "We are Mexican." At the border crossing there are officers with whom you can communicate. They support us all the way and these officers communicate all the time with the Consular Network to help them.

When a person is detained and their belongings remain in the United States they can communicate with us via CIAM to regular telephones. We have specific departments of recovery of belongings throughout the Consular Network and for this we have a daily dialogue with the United States authorities that allows us to recover their belongings ranging from securities, money, documents, electronics, he refers.

These requests are addressed throughout the Mexican Consular Network here in the United States, says Consul Pineda.

For any doubt and information you have specific phone numbers. To call from Mexico is 001 520 623 7874 and from the United States on 1 855 463 6395.

It also supports the Mexican community in the United States in the search for detainees. Counseling focuses on explaining criminal and legal proceedings as well as general guidance on how to keep in touch with family members.

How many Mexicans are in prisons?

- In the case of the Consulate in Tucson, we have 18 detention centers in the Pima and Pinal counties which are the counties to which the Consulate has jurisdiction. Arizona has 15 counties and we serve two; But we have 4 other consulates that serve all of Arizona: Yuma, Douglas, Phoenix and Tucson.

In these 18 detention centers: local and federal, there are more than 8 thousand people detained. The majority for the so-called "migratory crimes".

Are not the 'bad men', the criminals Trump says?

- Not in any way. They are people who have charges for their immigration status, for recidivism in the paperless entry to this country. And corporal punishment has been imposed on these detention centers.

There we make frequent visits: we talk to all people who require services, who have health care needs, communication with their families; That have had a situation of abuse by the authority. We are very anxious to present these complaints, to demand good treatment and at all times respect for their human rights. We have a right to consular access and we exercise it firmly, he emphasizes.

In the course of the interview, the Mexican consul in Tucson reports that in his jurisdiction he increased the number of applications by compatriots who have no documents at all by 100 percent.

The documents that are issued more in the Consular Network are identifications: passports, consular matriculas, but there is ample requests for birth registtration. There are number of people who require a birth registration to complete their documents.

"Today we are fortunate that the Birth Records can already be issued by the consulates, thanks to the agreements reached by the Ministry of the Interior, with the States of the Federation, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which enables us to print them, Request the information to the instances in Mexico to issue the records of the Civil Registry.

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These are birth records of children and young people born in the United States of Mexican parents. "We have had a significant increase in people seeking to have their dual citizenship as a precaution if there is any situation of being returned to our country.

There is talk that there are 200,000 Mexicans who do not have a birth certificate or records in the United States?

-It refers to records of people who were brought to the United States by their parents without having been registered in Mexico. And not being registered in Mexico we could not do it here, previously. This implied a difficult situation for them, faced with the impossibility of returning; But the new provisions of law enabled the consulates, through a case-by-case analysis and with the specific tests, to issue a birth record abroad. This changes the status of stateless to full citizenship, he explains.

In the case of dangerous situations, "we spread information all the time. We went to radio, television, social networks, newspapers in English and Spanish. On the radio, all the time informing the compatriots that the Consulate is here to help them. It is the function for which we are and the prime reason for the entire Consular Network. "

And what about the dreamers, what is their situation?

-Fortunately there is no guidance to the program of Deferred Action for children arrivals (DACA), which tells us there is a concrete measure of this administration. What has happened is that they have arrested some people and are looking for background and problems.

But there is no guideline that affects the status of dreamers. There is nothing published until this moment. What we do is to disseminate information, inviting them to approach the Consulate.

In the case of Tucson as is the case of the entire Consular Network in the United States, we have a record of the youths in these circumstances; But above all, we try to have availabilty when something is presented to give them immediate assistance.

More information: Migration verifies that US returnees are Mexican

We have a recent case of a young man arrested. We had an immediate participation. It was proved that this young man was accepted as a DACA and that condition was recognized. Fortunately he was delivered to his family on the same day he was arrested for a traffic offense. There is no action at least that we have registered in Tucson for the young DACA, he stressed.

How many young Mexicans are dreamers?

"They're over 700,000 in the United States.
The vast majority are of Mexican descent, in a recognized way. There are about 700 thousand that reached this condition of all nationalities, but the vast majority of Mexicans. There is no executive order or provision that refers to them, for the time being.

How does the mood feel, the feeling of the Mexican population. Are they having uncertainty, fear, tension?

-In the Mexican community there is much uncertainty, but not panic. There is definitely interest in having more information. We spread information and tell them: Get closer! We are here to serve you! We have succeeded in awakening this closeness with our people.

And he insists vehemently: "What we try to infuse is an idea of ​​service. All the effort goes in that direction ".


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