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Call center for Mexicans in US sees uptick in calls after Trump election

President Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

PHOENIX — A call center established by the Mexican government to aid its citizens living in the United States has seen an uptick in calls.

The Center for Information and Assistance to Mexicans usually gets between 600 and 700 calls from across the U.S. Ever since President Donald Trump took office in January, calls to the center have doubled.

“We have been receiving between 1,200 to 1,500 calls per day,” said Ricardo Pineda Albarran, the consul of Mexico in Tucson. “Due to that specific fact, we’re now working 24 hours a day.”

The center is located inside the Mexican consulate in Tucson. It operates as a call center that handles everything from inquiries about getting a Mexican passport and applying for dual citizenship to information about current U.S. immigration policies and what to do if a person is a victim of abuse or fraud.

Pineda Albarran, who’s also the center’s director, said the spike in calls is due in part to the Trump administration unveiling tougher immigration enforcement measures. He said the center has received calls from people who are worried about their future in the U.S.

“We are getting more calls from our community with concerns about what’s going on,” he said. “What we are doing is providing the right information to our community, referring them to one of the 50 consulates in the U.S. and making sure that they get legal advice if they need that.”

Another reason for the spike in calls, Albarran said, is due to the center recently expanding the services it provides.

Rodrigo Alcocer Urueta, a spokesman for the Mexican consulate in Phoenix, said the center is advising Mexican citizens living in the U.S. to know their rights, to seek legal advice from reliable lawyers and to use the consulate as a resource.

“The advice here is to be informed,” he said. “If they do not know something, they can call their consulate and ask for help so we can give advice and make referrals with people who can help them.”

Alcocer Urueta also said the center recommends families have a plan in case a family member is deported that includes having all their Mexican documents, such as their passport and birth certificate, and making power of attorney arrangements for their children and other matters.

Mexican citizens who live in the U.S. can call the 24-hour center at 1-855-463-6395.

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