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Posted on 08-15-2009
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Mobile Mexican Consulate smooths way for immigrants in Arkansas

Katherina-Marie Yancy, Today’s THV

SPRINGDALE, AR -- The Mexican Consulate has created a mobile team; they visit communities across Arkansas and increase the accessibility of their services for the growing Hispanic community.

Families in Northwest Arkansas lined up for hours for a chance to get a Mexican passport and ID card known as a Matricula Consular.



Luz Garcia of Rogers says. "It's important; we don't have any other identification other than the matricula or the passport."



Garcia says without an ID she can't do things we take for granted like open a bank account, rent an apartment or prove who you are. She says with the Mexican Consulate office in Little Rock, the mobile unit is her only opportunity.



"I don't drive so I can't go to Little Rock three-hours away. It's easy here it takes 20-minutes from Rogers here," Garcia adds.

Mexican Consulate Andres Chao explains, "They need to show us an original birth certificate and another original ID card to apply for what they need."



Consul Chao says his mobile unit travels four times a year across the state and partners with community organizations. This time they partnered with the Department of Labor, Census, Springdale School District and Arkansas Minority Health Commission.



He adds, "Its part of the job of the Mexican Consulate to help to close the gap between the Spanish community and the local authorities."

Saturday Consul Chao presented Springdale Superintendent Jim Rollins with hundreds of Spanish language books. Rollins oversees the second largest school system with more than 18,000 children, most are Hispanic.



Rollins says, "As we can appreciate, respect and include all the family in that process our children will learn better."



Both Consul Chao ...
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