ST. PAUL, Minn- The Mexican consulate has started to issue orders to Mexican citizens on how to avoid US immigration officials in recent immigrant workshops.
The Mexican government started ramping up its participation in giving advice to members of the Mexican American community following Trump’s election last November. Since November, the rate of deportations has been significantly increasing in Minnesota, with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) feeling more invigorated by the Trump administration.
There has been advice to not open the door for ICE if they don’t possess a warrant and to not answer questions if detained. The consulate has also partnered with many immigration attorneys to screen whether or not some Mexican citizens are eligible for American citizenship. All of these efforts have been part of a $50 million effort by the Mexican government to provide assistance to its citizens within the United States.
“We are not trying to get involved in the politics of the United States,” Consul Gerardo Guerrero said to the Star Tribune, “It’s the moral duty of the Mexican government to support its people.”
Guerrero pointed out also that the Mexican consulate has maintained a close connection with the local ICE office, and claims that ICE is only targeting those with criminal convictions and already existing deportation orders.
Guerrero sees the role the Mexican consulates play as being essential to the soft diplomacy between the United States and Mexico.
“The instructions that we have are that we also need to do a political job at the local level,” Guerrero said of the duties of the consulates.
The consulate estimates that there are some 180,000 Mexican immigrants in Minnesota, with as many as 60,000 lacking any legal status to be in the United States.
It is perhaps difficult to determine what the line is between consulate being involved in American politics and simply ‘supporting its people’ living in the United States.