Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 17, 2018

Library offers information to immigrants

By David Hotle | Sep 05, 2017
Washington Public Library director Debbie Stanton and Mexican Consul Maria Guadalupe Sanchez Salazar set up a table on the second floor of the library with important information for Mexican immigrants in the United States. The information is offered through the Mexican Consulate in Omaha, Nebraska and in many cases people have to travel to Omaha to get the same information that is offered in the library.

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


With the snip of several pairs of scissors, including one held by Mexican consul Maria Guadalupe Sanchez Salazar, the new Latino section was opened in the Washington Public Library Thursday afternoon, and along with it is a table full of pamphlets containing information that is useful to immigrants to the United States.

Salazar, who had visited Washington during Summer Classic, returned to offer the information on the services the Mexican Consulate in Omaha, Nebraska offers.

The Omaha Consulate also covers the state of Iowa. In many cases, people have to travel to Omaha to get the information that is being offered in the Washington library.

She mentioned the table is the first of its kind.

“The goal will be to interact with the local community in order to provide information about the activities and the actions the Mexican government is doing through its Consulate network in the United States,” she said. “I don’t know if you are aware of it, but Mexico has the biggest consulate network in the world and is deployed all over the United States.”

While visiting Washington, Salazar also toured J.W. Vittetoe Pork.

She said they also planned to speak with the Mexican employees there regarding the rights they had.

She said the United States contains about 12 million people of Mexican origin.

Salazar said Iowa is a major trade partner with Mexico, with Mexico buying much of the soybean exports from the state.

She said about 180,000 Mexican people live in Iowa. She said the resources the Mexican Counsulate has are there to serve them.

“One of the most important institutional programs we have developed at the Consulate is Labor Week,” she said. “Every year we work alongside the Department of Labor and with grass roots organizations that specialize in labor. On Monday we open our Labor Week and that is one of the reasons we are here. We come here to speak about that with our community. Many Mexican nationals who are working in different sections of society don’t know the rights they have. In order to defend those rights, they have to know what those rights are.”

The information is not only to empower the immigrants, she said, but to help communications with the communities in the area.

Salazar took the position in 2014 and has spent much of her time since taking the office meeting with people.

Before the appointment, she served in Jamaica and Hungary.

The Mexican Consulate, which opened in 2001 to meet the growing needs of the area’s Mexican population, assists its citizens who are in the United States and encourages cultural and business ties.

In addition to helping with passports, identification cards and other documents, the consulate can also offer basic health services.

The table with the information is located on the second floor of the Washington Public Library next to the Latino section.

For more information, call the library at 319-653-2726.

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