Mexico Invests $50M in Legal Aid for People in the US Illegally
WESLACO - Mexico is responding to President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration by providing legal aid to its citizens living on the U.S. illegally.
The country will spend $50 million to start legal assistance centers at all 50 of their consulates, including the ones located in Brownsville and McAllen.
The move comes as both Mexico and the U.S. continues sparring over who will pay for the Trump administration’s proposed border wall.
Mexican consulates are partnering with various law schools, immigration clinics and nonprofit groups.
The centers at each of the consulates will be staffed with Mexican lawyers who can refer cases to groups that can help people. Consulates are also reaching out to private law firms who might be interested in taking on some pro-bono work.
Once President Trump began announcing his plans, many Mexican people started to reach out to consulates. Mexican Consul Juan Carlos Cue Vega said actions by the White House forced Mexico to take their own counteraction.
“Like you all know the duties of protection never end. What the ombudsman center does is counsel exclusively – at this moment, that we have a federal action by the new government that appears to be directed to limiting the power of immigrants more than ever. So, more than ever the Mexican government is responding with measures it should,” he said.
The demand for help from the consulate has spiked since President Trump took office. Mexican diplomats in Houston said requests for Mexican birth certificates are up 50 percent.
Meanwhile, the Mexican consulate in McAllen will be offering their services in Roma on Saturday. Officials said they will complete paperwork for birth certificates, passports and consular identification cards.