Friday, August 9, 2013

Chicago Mexican Consulate Has A Two Month Backlog To Get Documents

Carlos Martín Jiménez Macías, Consul General of the Chicago Mexican Consulate


Mexican nationals residing in Wisconsin advocating for Mexico's Secretary of Exterior Relations (SRE) to open a Consulate in the state.

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 9, 2013

Milwaukee, WI - On Friday, hundreds of Mexican nationals and non-nationals gathered at South Division High School to meet the newly appointed Consul General Carlos Martín Jiménez Macías to the Chicago Mexican Consulate. Consul General Macías said that he supports the Milwaukee's Mexican community need to have a Consulate in Wisconsin and backed his statement by confirming that the Chicago Consulate has a two month waiting period for any Mexican national seeking documents, including passport requests.
Macías also confirmed that the Consulate staff is now facing another major work load for processing thousands of requests for the Matricula Consular (MX ID). More than 250,000 Mexican nationals residing in Illinois are expected to apply for a license or state ID this year and will most likely need a Matricula Consular as a form of ID.
In January, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) signed into law a bill allowing more than 250,000 of non-citizens to become eligible for state driver's licenses. The law takes effect in November and non-citizens can begin to apply for licenses.
Some other concerns that Macías heard from Wisconsin Mexican nationals, were the long waiting periods at the Consulate when someone goes for an appointment, the lack of respect and unwarranted treatment that some Consulate staffers give clients and the extortions that some Mexican nationals face when returning to Mexico without the proper Mexican government legal documents due to the backlogs of Consulates.
Salvador Sánchez, a Milwaukee community advocate and former U.M.O.S. Director told  Consul General Macías that some of the Mexican Consulate staffers in Chicago should be trained by taking sessions on how to treat people with repect. Sánchez's adviced drew major applause by those attending the gathering. Other people allowed to speak supported Sánchez's allegations. Sánchez has advocated for opening a Consulate in Milwaukee for years.
A resident from Waukesha, Eulogio Longoria said, that hundreds of Mexican nationals returning to Mexico through the bordertowns of Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros face extortion by Mexican officials for not having the legal documents required to be allowed to continue into the interior of Mexico. Longoria says, people have to pay between $20 to $100 to corrupt officials at checkpoints near the Mexican border.
A woman also said, that co-nationals take a risk to drive to Chicago from Milwaukee without documents and then have to wait long hours for services from the Consulate. Consul General Macías adviced people to leave their children home because the Chicago Consulate is small and can't acommodate space or daycare for children.
Consul Luis Angel Castañeda Flores for Community Affairs for the Chicago Consulate said, that last year, more than 16,000 documents including passports were issued to Wisconsin Mexican nationals and so far this year, more than 13,000 documents have been issued and they expect to break their record for 2013. 
Several years ago, the Mexican Consulate in Chicago generated more than $5 million dollars in revenue from Mexicans nationals paying for services and document requests, according to Consulate sources. Consul Flores or Consul General Macías would not give an actual estimate of how much revenue it has generated per year, since Macías confirmed that the Chicago Mexican Consulate falls between second or third in generating the most revenue from nationals living in the U.S. The Mexican Consulate in Chicago serves the tri-state area in the Mid-West, which includes Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
Also Franciso De La Torre Galindo, the executive director for the Mexican Institute of the Exterior said, that New Jersey Mexican nationals had been advocating for a Consulate in their state for the last twelve years and that Mexican nationals residing in North Carolina had advocated for a Consulate for almost twelve years and finally opened one in Raleigh about seven years ago. 
The time line to get a Mexican Consulate open in Milwaukee seemed very remote, but Consul General Macías believes it can be done sooner. Macías acknowledged a two month backlog to get any type of documents from the Consulate in Chicago. The estimated revenue alone generated by the Consulate per year, which is not easily made public indicates that Consul General Macías has a big task to reconstruct and provide innovative ways and services to correspond with the millions of dollars in revenues generated by the Consulate. Which today, some Consulate services seem to be slacking, according to the Mexican nationals that pay with U.S. dollars instead of pesos for services not easily made available to them on a timely manner.

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