Fearing Deportation, Undocumented Parents Rush to Apply for Dual Citizenship for U.S. Born Children - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Fearing Deportation, Undocumented Parents Rush to Apply for Dual Citizenship for U.S. Born Children

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    The nation's third busiest Consulate General of Mexico is in North Texas, and it's even busier than usual. (Published Thursday, March 9, 2017)

    The nation’s third busiest Consulate General of Mexico is in North Texas, and it’s even busier than usual.

    Many parents are rushing to ensure that if they are deported, they can take their American children with them.

    You will see a stream of U.S. born children and their undocumented parents on any given day at the Mexican Consulate in Dallas.

    Javier Ordonez is among the 700 people being served on Thursday.

    Ordonez is trying to ensure his daughter will come with him if he is deported back to Mexico.

    “She’s so young, so I have to take care of her,” he said.

    Dallas is the third busiest Mexican consulate in the U.S., after Los Angeles and Chicago.

    The consulate has seen an increase of parents applying so that their children are dual-citizens.

    “The feeling is that, if I have to leave, I want my family to come with me or if my family stays, I want them to be able to reunify with me wherever I am with all of the documents in order,” said Victor Arriaga, deputy consul general.

    An estimated three million undocumented people in the U.S. live with at least one child who is an American citizen, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

    “Some of them feel it’s important to have all of their documents ready,” said Arriaga.

    He adds registering your American child as a Mexican dual-national has to be done in the U.S.

    Luciano Godinez and his wife have five American children, two with disabilities.

    They, too, are looking to take them with them if they are deported.

    Godinez is worried because he says he has not lived in Mexico since he was a child.

    “I’ve not lived, never really lived in Mexico, but I don’t think they have the resources that my kids need,” he said.

    Marisol Gomez is contemplating whether to take her 1-year-old daughter with her or leaving her in the legal custody of the girl’s grandfather.

    “Our children will never be safer than they will be with their parents,” she said. “But it’s better to be prepared.”

    The Mexican Consulate urges parents interested in seeking dual-citizenship for their U.S. born children to call the consulate to make an appointment.

    Parents should bring their official identification cards and their birth certificates to prove they are Mexican nationals.

    They should also bring their child’s official identification card and birth certificate, which can be obtained at the Dallas Vital Statistics office.

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