• Foreign Secretary Alicia Bárcena held a meeting at the Consulate General of Mexico in El Paso with strategic partners and civil society organizations to discuss Mexico's strategy if Texas SB4 enters into force.

During her trip to Texas, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, held a meeting today at the Consulate General of Mexico in El Paso with strategic partners and civil society organizations to discuss Mexico's strategy if Texas SB4, which criminalizes migrants, enters into force.

Participating in the meeting on behalf of the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center were Executive Director Marisa Limón Garza and Deputy Director Jennifer Babaie; and on behalf of the Colonias Development Council, Las Cruces, N. M., Executive Director Diana Bustamante and Deputy Director Erika Contreras; the Director of the Annunciation House Shelter, Ruben Garcia; the Executive Director and founder of the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), Fernando Garcia; and the Executive Director of Estrella del Paso, Melissa M. Lopez.

At the meeting, Secretary Bárcena reiterated that SB4 criminalizes the migrant community in Texas and encourages the separation of families, discrimination and hate speech in violation of migrants’ human rights. "Mexico cannot remain indifferent to initiatives that racially profile and illegally detain not only Mexican citizens, but any person of Mexican descent," she said.

She noted that the Foreign Ministry filed an amicus curiae brief for Mexico with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on March 21, and reaffirmed that Mexico would not accept repatriations by the State of Texas under any circumstances.

Secretary Bárcena said that, as part of Mexico’s consular assistance and protection strategy should SB4 enter into force, our 11 consulates in Texas have programs such as the Legal Advice Program (PALE), which provides legal guidance, advice and representation to Mexican nationals; the Center for Information and Assistance for Mexicans (CIAM), which operates 24 hours a day; and Legal Advice Week (SALE), which provides legal assistance to Mexicans.

She urged the participants to expand collaboration between civil society organizations, strategic partners and the consulates to provide guidance and timely information to the Mexican community, so that "people understand what their rights are, and what issues they may face if this law is applied…We must organize a broader network throughout the state of Texas, among the 11 consulates and all the organizations that are working here, in this state, in order to really move forward," she said.

Secretary Bárcena said that it is essential to change the narrative that criminalizes the Mexican migrant community. She highlighted that, of the 37.3 million Mexicans living in the United States, almost 10 million are in Texas. Mexican immigrants represent 324.8 billion dollars in income and, although part of that income goes to Mexico as remittances, that is only 18.5 percent, while 81.5 percent is reinvested in local communities throughout the country.

"Mexicans make invaluable contributions to key sectors of the Texas economy, regardless of their immigration status, and my top priority is to protect and empower them," she concluded.

The Mexican delegation accompanying the Secretary at the meeting included the Consul of Mexico in El Paso, Mauricio Ibarra Ponce de León; Chief Officer for North America Roberto Velasco Álvarez; Director General of Consular Protection and Strategic Planning Vanessa Calva Ruiz; Director General of Political Affairs for North America Cristina Planter Riebeling; and the Director General of Interagency Coordination and Follow-up, Luis Mingo Nyssen.

The Foreign Ministry, through its 11 consulates in Texas, reaffirms its commitment to continue providing timely, humane and dignified consular assistance and protection to all Mexicans living in that state.