As Immigrants Settle in U.S., 'Mobile Consulates' Become Common - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

As Immigrants Settle in U.S., 'Mobile Consulates' Become Common

April 23, 2006 - Posted at 12:45 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ As immigrant communities spring up in the

U.S., foreign nations are trying to keep pace with their far-flung

countrymen through mobile consulates. Typically, the offices are

open usually for a day in a church or restaurant. A country

officials can renew the citizen's passport or record births and

marriages. In Little Rock, Venezuela had its first mobile consulate

in Arkansas. Several Venezuelans from Tennessee and elsewhere came

to renew their passports.

The government of Mexico is scheduling more mobile consulates

and has already had them in northwest Arkansas, where 500 to a

thousand people in one day have come for assistance.

Mobile consulates allow immigrants to use birth certificates and

other documents sent from home to obtain passports or consular

identification cards from their countries. The governments issue

the documents regardless of whether the person entered the United

States legally or not.

On their own, the foreign documents don't give immigrants the

right to remain in the United States or work in the country. But

they can give immigrants greater access to some services.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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