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Hike in consulates' resources requested to prep for immigration reform

US IMMIGRANTS | 04 de julio de 2013

Mario Moreno (r), assistant administrative chief of the Salvadoran consulate in Los Angeles, reviews documents of Salvadorans on July 1, 2013. EFE

Los Angeles, Jul 3 (EFE).- Mexican and Central American consulates in the United States are registering an increase in requests for official documents and, according to the Central American Resource Center, they must increase their available resources to be prepared if immigration reform is passed.

"We know that right now, before the passage of immigration reform, the consulates are very full," the executive director of CARECEN, Martha Arevalo, told Efe on Wednesday.

She said the missions of the Latin American governments with large numbers of immigrants in the United States do not have sufficient budgets to attend to the demand for passports or identity documents.

"If immigration reform passes and these 11 or 12 million people (who could benefit from the reform) are going to require those documents, the demand at the consulates is going to be greater," Arevalo warned.

In Los Angeles, the majority of undocumented Hispanic immigrants are Mexicans.

Juan Carlos Mendoza, with the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, said his office is attending in a timely manner to the requests of its citizens.

"I invite anyone who says we're not prepared to go and look at the numbers, to go and see how it's working and to come and interview the people," he told Efe.

Mendoza said Mexico's foreign ministry has sent experts to evaluate the number of people the Consulate could handle if immigration reform is passed and to calculate the number of temporary employees who might have to be hired.

"I call upon the Latin American governments with residents of their country in the U.S., urgently, to begin to expand the budgets of their consulates," Mexican immigrant Juan Jose Gutierrez, the president of the Vamos Unidos USA organization, told Efe.

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America in English