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Mexico Funding U.S Consulate Offices

Airdate: March 30, 2017
The Mexican government is setting aside money for its Consulate offices in the U.S. The money is to be used to help immigrants with legal assistance. Claudi Franco Hijuelos, Consul General of Mexico in Phoenix talks about the funding.

Guests:
  • Claudia Franco Hijuelo - The Consul General of Mexico in Phoenix
Category: Immigration

Keywords: Illegal Immigration, Mexico, Trump Administration, Immigration, The Consul General of Mexico ,

View Transcript
JOSE CARDENAS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO HORIZONTE. I'M JOSÉ CÁRDENAS. WE'LL TALK TO THE CONSUL GENERAL OF MEXICO IN PHOENIX ABOUT EFFORTS TO HELP IMMIGRANTS BY PROVIDING LEGAL ASSISTANCE.

YOU NEED TO HAVE THAT STRENGTH.

JOSE CARDENAS: A VALLEY DREAMER STARTS AN ACTIVE WEAR COMPANY THAT'S A MIX OF CULTURE AND GYM LIFESTYLE. AND FIND OUT ABOUT AN ORGANIZATION PROVIDING FREE HEALTHCARE TO THE UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED IN THE VALLEY. ALL THIS COMING UP NEXT ON ”HORIZONTE”. "HORIZONTE" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.

JOSE CARDENAS: PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN VERY VOCAL ABOUT ITS EFFORTS TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT IS SETTING ASIDE 50 MILLION DOLLARS FOR ITS CONSULATES IN THE U-S. THE MONEY IS TO BE USED TO HELP DEFEND IMMIGRANTS. JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THIS IS CLAUDIA FRANCO HIJUELOS, THE CONSUL GENERAL OF MEXICO IN PHOENIX. CONSUL FRANCO, WELCOME TO "HORIZONTE." AS I UNDERSTAND, THE MEXICAN CONSULENT ALREADY PROVIDES A VARIETY OF LEGAL SERVICES TO MEXICAN NATIONAL SERVICES BUT WHAT DOES THE NEW PROGRAM DO THAT WASN'T PROVIDED BEFORE?

CLAUDIA FRANCO HIJUELOS: IT IS AN INTENSIFICATION OF OUR EFFORTS AND OUTREACH EFFORTS THAT ARE NEW. WE ARE ALSO EXPANDING OUR WORKING HOURS. WE HAVE A NEW 24/7, CALL CENTER. SO IT IS REALLY EMPHASIZING WHAT WE THINK IS WORKING IN TRYING TO GET INFORMATION OUT TO THE COMMUNITY REGARDING THEIR RIGHTS AND ALSO PROVIDING THEM THE SERVICES THEY MIGHT NEED IN CASE THEY WERE DEPORTED JUST FOR THEM TO HAVE A PLAN.

Jose: HAVE YOU SEEN A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE DEMAND FOR LEGAL CONSULTATION SINCE THE ELECTION?

CLAUDIA FRANCO HIJUELOS: WE HAVE. WE BELIEVE IT IS A RESULT, OF COURSE, OF THE NEW MIGRATION POLICY IN PLACE BUT ALSO IT IS A RESULT OF OUR OWN OUTREACH EFFORTS IN TRYING TO TELL THE COMMUNITY THEY SHOULD BE PREPARED, THERE IS A NUMBER OF THINGS THEY CAN DO IN CASE, JUST IN CASE DEPORTATION COMES.

Jose: AS I UNDERSTAND IT, AND FOCUSING ON THESE KINDS OF ISSUES FOR THE MOMENT, IT IS NOT JUST SAYING HOW YOU DEAL WITH AN IMMIGRATION ISSUE. IT IS -- YOU ARE ALSO GIVING THEM PRACTICAL ADVICE ON PREPARING FAMILY ARRANGEMENTS IN CASE THEY ARE DEPORTED.

CLAUDIA FRANCO HIJUELOS: WE ALSO PROVIDE A DIAGNOSTIC ABOUT THEIR MIGRATORY SITUATION. WE PROVIDE MIGRATION PLANS AND THERE MAY BE OPTIONS OTHER THAN DEPORTATION IF ONLY THEY TOOK THE NECESSARY STEPS IN TALKING TO A LAWYER AND EXPLAINING THEIR PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES. PART OF THE REINFORCED EFFORTS WE ARE UNDERTAKING IS NOT JUST GUIDING THEM TO THE PROPER RESOURCES, FOR INFORMATION, BUT ALSO HAVING LAWYERS IN PLACE AT THE CONSULATE SO THEY CAN CONSULT DIRECTLY AND TAKE IT FROM THERE.

Jose: A NUMBER OF THESE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN BORN IN THE UNITED STATES. WHAT KIND OF ADVICE WILL THEY RECEIVE ABOUT WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR CHILDREN?

CLAUDIA FRANCO HIJUELOS: THAT IS A VERY IMPORTANT POINT. REGARDING CHILDREN, YOU KNOW, THERE IS SOME MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE UNITED STATES FOR OVER 15-20 YEARS AND NAY HAVE U.S.-BORN CHILDREN. IN THE EVENT OF A DEPORTATION, THOSE CHILDREN WOULD HAVE A U.S. NATIONALITY AND BE REUNITED WITH THEIR PARENTS EVENTUALLY. BUT THAT LEAD TIME BETWEEN THE DEPORTATION OF THE CHILD AND WHEN THE REUNIFICATION COMES WOULD BE MUCH SHORTER IF THE PARENTS CAME TO THE CONSULATE AND REGISTERED THEIR CHILDREN AS MEXICAN CITIZENS ALSO. THEY CAN DO THAT. THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF DUAL NATIONALITY. THERE IS NO COST IN DOING IT. TE SERVICE IS FREE. IT IS A QUESTION OF HAVING THE PROPER PAPERWORK. THEY CAN MAKE AN APPOINTMENT THROUGH THE NET INTERNET, CALL THE 24 HOUR NUMBER OR STEP INTO THE CONSULATE AND WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO PROCESS THE CASE ON THE SAME DAY.

Jose: YOU ARE REFERRING TO THE 24 HOUR NUMBER AND WE HAVE A NUMBER ON THE SCREEN. THAT IS A HOT LINE THAT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED AND IT IS OPERATED OUT OF TUCSON?

CLAUDIA FRANCO HIJUELOS: YES, IT IS. IT IS NOT NEW. IT IS A CALL CENTER THAT HAS BEEN IN PLACE FOR YEARS BUT WHAT WE ARE SEEING AND WHAT IS NEW IS THE OPERATING HOURS. THOSE WERE MORE LIMITED AND NOW IS 24/7 LIKE I SAID. THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO THE INCREASED DEMAND FOR GUIDANCE AND FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE RIGHTS. THEY CAN GET INFORMATION ABOUT RIGHTS THERE. THEY CAN GET INFORMATION ABOUT OUR OWN WORKSHOPS FOR THE DIFFERENT TOPICS THAT MIGHT INTEREST THEM. YOU ASKED ABOUT AND I DIDN'T ANSWER ABOUT GETTING READY IN TERMS OF THE PROPERTY AND CAPITOL IF THEY HAVE MONEY THEY NEED TO TRANSFER TO MEXICO AND HOW CAN THEY GO ABOUT OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT IN MEXICO AND SEE WHAT THEIR OPTIONS ARE. SO THIS IS, YOU KNOW, A WHOLE RANGE OF SERVICES THAT WE ARE UNDERTAKING THAT INCLUDE LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR SOME CASES, NOT FOR ALL CASES. AND WE ARE EMPHASIZING THOSE CASES FOR LEGAL REPRESENTATION THAT MIGHT HELP US ESTABLISH A PRECEDENT IN REGARDS TO DUE PROCESS, FOR EXAMPLE. EVEN IF NATIONALS HERE WERE UNDOCUMENTED, THEY DO HAVE RIGHTS ACCORDING TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AND WE WORK WITHIN THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THEM TO KNOW WHAT ARE THEIR OPTIONS AND DECIDE.

Jose: AND THE SCOPE INCLUDES WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A MORTGAGE AND POWERS OF ATTORNEY. OTHER KINDS OF ISSUES THAT ARE COVERED IN THESE? AS I UNDERSTAND, IT IS NOT JUST PEOPLE COMING TO THE CONSULATE BUT YOU ARE DOING WORKSHOPS AND THINGS.

CLAUDIA FRANCO HIJUELOS: DUAL NATIONALITY, EDUCATION, FOR EXAMPLE. IF YOUR CHILDREN OR YOU YOURSELF WERE IN UNIVERSITY AND YOU WERE WORRIED WHETHER YOUR GRADES WERE GOING TO BE ACCREDITED IN MEXICO WE WILL GIVE THEM THE NECESSARY INFORMATION FOR THEM TO FIND OUT MORE REGARDING THEIR SPECIFIC CASE BUT ALSO A HUGE EFFORT HAS BEEN UNDERTAKEN IN MEXICO TO MAKE THOSE REQUIREMENTS MORE ACCESSIBLE JUST BECAUSE WE ARE ENVISIONING THE POSSIBILITY THAT THAT SEGMENT OF THE POPULATION IN THE U.S. MIGHT BE COMING BACK AND THEY WILL NEED TO REINSERT THEMSELVES INTO EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM. FOR CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS ALSO WE DO ASK THEM TO COME TO THE CONSULATE AND HAVE MORE INFORMATION AS TO WHAT SCHOOLS MIGHT BE AVAILABLE IN THEIR LOCALITY OR THE PLACE OF ORIGIN. NOW, MOST OF THE PEOPLE -- MOST OF THESE NATIONALS HAVE BEEN IN THE U.S. FOR A WHILE. MOST OF THEM WILL NOT NECESSARILY GO TO THEIR PARENTS PLACE OF ORIGIN. MAYBE NOT THEIR OWN.

Jose: BACK IN MEXICO?

CLAUDIA FRANCO HIJUELOS: EXACTLY. THERE IS A NUMBER OF CALL CENTERS AND ADVISORY SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT FOR THEM TO WEIGH THEIR OPTIONS AND MAKE DECISIONS WHEN THE TIME COMES.

Jose: EVERYTHING WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IS FOCUSED ON FOR THE RESULT OF TENSIONS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL. BUT AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, BOTH THE STATE GOVERNMENT AND CITY OF PHOENIX SEEM TO BE REALLY DEVELOPING SOME VERY POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH MEXICO. MOST RECENTLY THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT THE CITY OF PHOENIX HAS A MEMRANDAM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH THE STATE A CENA LORA.

CLAUDIA FRANCO HIJUELOS: ARIZONA BEING A BORDER STATE HAS A VERY INTENSE TRADE RELATIONSHIP WITH MEXICO. THERE ARE FAMILY TIES THAT ARE VERY CLOSE. THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WAS JUST SIGNED THIS WEEK BETWEEN THE MUNICIPAL PRESIDENCY OF THE CAPITOL AND THE CITY OF PHOENIX.

Jose: THE CAPITOL?

CLAUDIA FRANCO HIJUELOS: WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR IS TO EXCHANGE BEST PRACTICES, LEARN FROM EACH OTHER AND FIND A USE OF COOPERATION. CENA LORA IS THE MAIN ORIGIN FOR FRESH PRODUCE COMING INTO THE U.S. FROM MEXICO. THE GATEWAY IS ARIZONA. SO THERE IS A LOT OF SYNERGY THAT MIGHT COME FROM THERE BECAUSE WE GET VISITS FROM LOCAL AUTHORITIES HERE IN PHOENIX. ALSO, LAST WEEK THE MAYOR OF SENORA, WAS UP IN PHOENIX AND THEY ARE LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES, FOR EXAMPLE, FOR NEW FLIGHTS BETWEEN CITIES.

Jose: THE CITY OF PHOENIX IS GOING TO OPEN A TRADE OFFICE IN THAT CITY?

CLAUDIA FRANCO HIJUELOS: AS WE SPEAK, MAYOR STANTON IS OPENING A SECOND PROMOTION OFFICES OF THE CITY OF PHOENIX. THE FIRST ONE IS IN MEXICO CITY. THIS IS THE RESULT OF JUST AWARENESS OF OPPORTUNITIES AND THAT RELATIONSHIP.

Jose: THERE IS A LOT GOING ON AT THE STATE LEVEL AS WELL BUT WE ARE OUT OF TIME. THANK YOU SO MUCH, CONSUL FRANCO, FOR JOINING US ON "HORIZONTE" TO TALK ABOUT THIS. COMING UP NEXT, A VALLEY DREAMER WITH A BUSINESS THAT MIXES CULTURE AND ATHLETICS.