KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There are lines of people at the Mexican consulate Tuesday, as more Mexicans in Kansas City seek documentation in the wake of a federal crackdown on illegal immigration.
There’s a lot of concern, and even some fear, among Spanish-speaking folks who live and work in the metro area.
“We are in permanent contact with ICE in order to get consular access to those arrested who are Mexican nationals, to make sure they are respected with due process of law,” said Alfonso Navarro-Bernachi, head Mexican consul in Kansas City.
The consulate confirms that about 20 Mexican nationals have been arrested in the Kansas City region for deportation by federal immigration and customs enforcement agents.
The consulate provides Mexican nationals with passports and birth registrations for children who have been born in the United States to Mexican parents.
If a family returns to Mexico, those documents are needed for children to attend school.
“We are encouraging the Mexican community living here to be prepared and to be conscious of the different situations that they may face,” Navarro-Bernachi said. “So in case they want to return voluntarily to Mexico or they are put into an immigration proceeding, that they have the proper documents, particularly for birth registration and Mexican documents, to facilitate a return to Mexico.”
The consulate offers immigration advice and hires lawyers to help immigrants who want to stay.
The Mexican government also has activated a national call center for the Mexican community, so anyone detained can request consular contact to ensure they receive due process. The phone number is: 1-855-463-6395.
Federal authorities say 235 foreign nationals have been arrested last week in six Midwestern states, including Kansas and Missouri. The agency says most had criminal records.