Mexican State Offers Free Legal Help for Nationals

Ana Flores-García, the new executive managing director of Mi Casa Es Puebla (Photo via Reporte Hispano)

The government of the Mexican state of Puebla is launching a legal and paralegal aid campaign on U.S. soil to deal with the fear of raids and deportations expressed by the Pueblan community in New Jersey and New York. Staff specializing in U.S. immigration law will provide direct assistance.

The new executive managing director of nonprofit Mi Casa Es Puebla in Passaic, Ana Flores-García, confirmed this, adding that paralegal staff will be available Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to advise Pueblan families concerned about the future of their children in case the parents are deported. They will also offer a preliminary review of cases and immigration processes for people who visit their office.

She also said that an attorney will directly evaluate immigration cases on Fridays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The services are free of charge and will be offered at the organization’s offices located at 77 Third St., Passaic, NJ 07505.

“The priority of Puebla Gov. José Antonio Gali is to provide assistance to Pueblans living in the United States and, this time, we have expanded the services we offer to provide immigration legal advice,” said Flores-García, adding: “Our compatriots must know that we will be by their side in circumstances as difficult for our families as the current ones.”

For the moment, in order to assist Pueblan families with their concerns, should they face deportation and be forced to leave their minor children with relatives or friends, the organization will provide notarized guardianship letters free of charge. The service will begin to be offered this Friday between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“This letter, reviewed by an attorney and notarized here in the U.S., in our offices, will be handed out for free,” said the director of Mi Casa Es Puebla. “I must alert fellow Pueblans to be on the lookout, as we are seeing a great deal of fraud. We want people to reach out to official locations.”

She also pointed out that it is very important for Pueblans to have their documents on hand and that they have not expired, and insisted that the first step to being protected is having documentation that identifies them as Mexican.

“If you are Pueblan and you do not have the documents the Mexican consulate requires to obtain a passport and consular registration – such as your birth certificate or proof of identity or address – we will issue them to you free of charge,” she said.

A school certificate will also be provided, as well as non-criminal background certificates, for which individuals will be fingerprinted and referred to Mexico’s Office of the Attorney General, who will send them the document.

Flores-García said that they will be offering financial education and nutrition workshops in March and, later, an advanced Mexican gastronomy workshop.

Ana Flores-García was assigned to her executive director position at Mi Casa Es Puebla – which operates in New York and New Jersey – in January. She has a degree in international relations from Universidad de Las Américas in Puebla and a master’s in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for the Mexican consulate in Philadelphia for seven years, and was the executive director of that city’s Mexican Cultural Center for three.

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