Mexico opens help center for immigrants in San Antonio

Mexican Help Center

SAN ANTONIO - The Mexican government is stepping up its efforts to help immigrants in San Antonio.

Mexico is creating what it calls "Centers of Advocacy." One of the first ones opened Friday at the Mexican Consulate's Office in San Antonio.

Jeremy Smith, a native of Guadalajara, was one of the first to get help from the new Center of Advocacy.

"I'm actually here to get my passport and ask some questions, because the opportunity for me to play soccer in Spain came up," Smith said.

Smith's parents brought him and his brother to America 11 years ago. Jeremy is afraid if he leaves, he won't be allowed to come back.

"It's hurtful because we've grown up here, my brother and I and my family as well. We started our lives over here," Smith said.

Mexican leaders said the purpose of the advocacy center is to help immigrants, like Jeremy, know their rights.

"For any Mexican with immigrant questions, it's open," said Jose Antonio Larios, acting Mexican consulate.

The center is also designed to be a place where Mexican citizens can receive legal help.

"The Mexican government is investing more resources. We will have more attorneys giving and providing legal services," said Larios.

Mexico's president instructed all Mexican consulates in the U.S. to be "true advocates" for the rights of Mexican immigrants, even those who are not documented.

"If they weren't here, I honestly I wouldn't even know where to find the answers to my questions," said Smith.

Smith said he wants to become an American, but hopes he can stay in the land he knows while he goes through the process.

"I still have family back in Mexico. [If I go there, I want to be able to] come back because I love it here," said Smith.

The Mexican consulate said these new centers will also be able to help people, like Smith, gain dual citizenship.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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