New Mexican Immigrant-Serving Contact Center Opening in Arizona
November 04, 2008
Mexico is one of the largest sources of immigrants, legal and illegal, into the U.S. And in response to the needs of its former residents, the Mexican Government is opening the first of several contact centers in Tucson, Arizona, reports the Arizona Daily Star.
The story said that the Tucson facility, which will be open 24/7, will have nine contact center agents and three supervisors specially trained in assisting Mexican citizens, especially illegal immigrants, with a wide range of issues. These include including domestic violence, detentions, human-rights abuses, accidents on the job, and immigration matters such as obtaining visas.
The agents will be instructed to take their reports and direct the concerns to the appropriate officials at whichever of the five Mexican consulates in Arizona has jurisdiction. In Tucson, the Mexican Consulate there has assembled a group of lawyers who will assist with cases as needed.
The contact center could help in processing of information in an emergency, said Mario Agundez, a member of the U.S. Border Patrol's Search, Trauma and Rescue unit (BORSTAR) in the story. BORSTAR is responsible for numerous rescues of would-be illegal immigrants.
As part of their training, the contact center staff will have worked with people facing deportation through the Border Patrol's Operation Streamline in the federal court in Tucson, said the newspaper. They have also visited hospitals and been involved in other outreach activity with Mexican Consulate officials. The center is also developing an operations manual.
If the Tucson center is successful others may open in other states with large especially illegal Mexican resident populations, such as California and Texas; the Tucson facility will only handle cases in Arizona. Eventually, the contact center will have access to a communication network that connects every the Mexican consulate.
“[The contact center] is in response to the demands of Mexicans living here in the U.S.," Juan Manuel Calderón Jaimes, the Mexican consul told the newspaper. "The center for Arizona will serve our most vulnerable population, the undocumented.”
Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michelle Robart