President Donald Trump’s tough immigration policies are affecting many people, but Mexicans are among those being hit the hardest. Unauthorized immigrants, legal residents and even many of those who already are U.S. citizens have spoken about new anxieties in everyday life, like when going to pick up their children from school and being worried about being targeted in ICE raids.
But what do the numbers say, particularly in North Texas? Francisco de la Torre, Mexican consul in Dallas, walks us through the data:
1. Mexican Consulate visits are up more than 250 percent.
Until November 2016 — the month of the presidential election — the Mexican Consulate at Dallas processed about 350 people daily.
“That number increased beginning in January after the presidential inauguration,” said de la Torre. “When discussion about [sanctuary cities bill] SB 4 started, we saw a strong surge. Now we see an average of 900 people seeking consulate services.”
2. There’s a sevenfold increase in legal consultations.
The end of DACA, a program protecting young immigrants brought into the country as children, spurred a surge of activism among immigrant groups that want Congress to pass a DREAM Act giving them a path to citizenship.
Out of the 800,000 DACA recipients, some 600,000 are of Mexican origin, so consulates began offering free legal advice in collaboration with nongovernment organizations and law firms. In Dallas, the consulate teamed up with groups like Proyecto Inmigrante and firms like Jaime Barrón & Chávez and Valko.
Legal advice skyrocketed by about seven times in the last year.
“Consultations went through the roof with DACA. But we already had been seeing a lot of anxiety — for instance, among people who have to appear before ICE or have family members in detention centers,” de la Torre said.
By Jenny Manrique for DALLAS NEWS
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