Mexican government launches plan to protect immigrants

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The Mexican government announced Wednesday 11 actions to protect its citizens in the United States following last week’s presidential election.

{mosads}The measures come as Hispanic communities, including documented and undocumented Mexican immigrants, have expressed concern over an uptick in racially motivated attacks in the week since Donald Trump’s election.

“Countryman, these are moments of uncertainty. Be calm, do not fall for provocations and don’t let yourself be fooled,” Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Claudia Ruiz Massieu said in a video posted to Twitter announcing the steps.

Like Ruiz Massieu, U.S. Hispanic leaders have requested people keep calm, despite doubts over how the Trump administration will enforce its immigration policy.

“I would like to see more effort on the part of the incoming administration in terms of calming people’s fears as to what may come next,” Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) told The Hill.

President-elect Donald Trump, who early on in the campaign called Mexican immigrants “rapists” who “bring crime” into America, said in an interview with “60 Minutes” Sunday he thought the reported attacks on minorities in the wake of his election were “a very small amount,” but was “saddened” to hear about them.

“I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it,” Trump said.

The Mexican strategy is relying on its traditional political allies in the U.S. to protect its citizens abroad.

Many big city mayors and some governors have said they will refuse to cooperate with federal authorities persecuting non-criminal aliens. As part of the 11-step plan, the Mexican government said it will increase collaboration at the state and local level.

“Reinforce dialogue with local and state authorities, in the understanding that local policies determine, in good measure, the daily life of Mexicans in the U.S.,” reads step nine of the plan.

The plan also includes provisions to strengthen ties to civil rights organizations and to call for communities to avoid “any conflict situation” and “acts that could derive in administrative or criminal sanctions.”

The measures will include toll-free numbers for Mexicans to call in case of emergency or for assistance with paperwork, promotion of a mobile app for Mexican citizens abroad and expansion of consular service hours.

Mexico has 50 consulates in the United States, the largest diplomatic network deployed by any single country in any other worldwide.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, there were 11.6 million Mexican immigrants in the United States in 2014. Of those, 5.8 million were undocumented, according to the Pew Research Center.

There are also more than 23 million U.S.-born people of Mexican origin, most of whom could be eligible for dual citizenship under Mexican law.

The 11-step plan includes services tailored to undocumented immigrants and for dual citizens, including those in mixed-status families.

Consulates will expand their ID program, which in many cases provides undocumented immigrants with their only government-issued ID.

Services to provide legal assistance and assistance obtaining birth certificates, both Mexican and American, will also be expanded upon.

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