KGUN 9News


Worried Mexicans double calls to Tucson Consulate

Mexican consulate takes call from across U.S.
Posted at 7:08 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 21:08:10-05
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The U.S. Presidential election has had a big impact on the Mexican Consulate in Tucson.
The consulate assists Mexicans, and U.S. citizens who want to visit Mexico or do business there but the Tucson consulate also hosts a phone bank that takes calls from all over the U.S. and calls are way up since the election.
It's the mission of the Mexican Consulate here on Broadway to look out for the interests of Mexican nationals in the United States and since the US Presidential election things have become much busier here.
Tucson's Mexican Consulate moved into a bigger building about a year ago and took on a bigger job.
Besides helping Mexicans in Arizona, it's home to a large phone bank called the Center for Information and Assistance to Mexicans that takes calls from the entire U.S.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry uses videos and other means to make sure Mexicans know of the program.
Consul Ricardo Pineda says about 70 percent of the calls are routine business like inquiries on getting a passport or Mexican ID but 30 percent are from Mexicans worried about immigration issues.
He says before the election, nationwide call volume was about seven hundred per day now it may be roughly twice that--13 to 15 hundred a day
"Our community wants to know what's going on; how any specific executive order or else is going to impact them and their situation in the country."
A few weeks ago the call center began operating 24 hours a day.
The consul says they don't track how many calls are from people who are undocumented but since the call center covers the entire U-S they may refer callers to trusted attorneys in places like New York, Miami or Dallas. If someone's in need the consulate may help cover legal fees.
He says, “Immigration law is difficult.  Every executive order can be difficult in its interpretation so we'd rather provide this professional counseling for the community."
Some people may be in the U.S. legally but need to confirm they have the right documents.
The center may also help find relatives who may be in immigration detention, or simply out of touch since they crossed the border.