Jim Sánchez / Conexión San Ángelo

SAN ANGELO – Immigration Integration Project, founder, Dr. Alma Pérez, was instrumental in bringing together entities, such as the Mobile Mexican Consulate, and Carlos Obrador-Garrido, Consul of Mexico to Del Rio, to provide resources, plus any questions that the community and its immigrants had at Saturday’s first, Immigration Integration Projects weekend event held at the Stephens Central Library in the Sugg Room, located on the second floor.

Left-to-right, Immigration Integration Project Board: SMD 4, Lucy Gonzáles, Clementine Urista, Treasurer, Dr. Alma Pérez, Mary Castañuela, President, Alejandro Castañon, Secretary and Dr. Andrea Robledo, Vice President.

Mobile Mexican Consulate was also at the IIP event to assist those with same day processing of consular identification, Mexican passports, certified copies of Birth Certificates, and other free legal consultations.

“A very special event took place to provide support to the community which might have questions about immigration, about becoming a U.S. citizen, about achieving a high school diploma, etc,” said Mary Castanuela, Immigration Integration Project President.

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Besides Obrador-Garrido, and other dignitaries: Mayor, Brenda Gunter, Marisol L. Pérez, Attorney at Law Board Certified Immigration & Nationality Law was the guest speaker who spoke on Immigration Law.

Conexión briefly interviewed Pérez prior to her scheduled speaking engagement, regarding the recent ruling on DACA (a federal program that protects over 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants from deportation and allows them to work legally in the United States).

 “The most recent thing that has come down from the administration is the recension of a document, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that was signed by Janet Napolitano and proposed by President Obama in 2012 that gave temporary lawful status to individuals who arrived here at the age of 15 or younger,” said Pérez.

The recension of that memo basically acted on before having a plan B in place for these kids, these individuals here although have grown, have certainly been contributors to our community, whether studying, they are educated, or part of our workforce, going to medical school, doing a number of things to contribute to the United States; but have been put in a position where they are at risk, continued Pérez.

Pérez believes that Obama had legislative authority to do what he did as other presidents had previously done similar acts, however that was a question for the judicial system to decide.

Pérez concluded her remarks saying that immigrants needed to stay informed and if they had not renewed their status and are up for expiration in March 2018, the time to act is now as they only have 30 days to submit a replacement application.

The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants: 1) protection from deportation, and 2) a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal. https://undocu.berkeley.edu/legal-support-overview/what-is-daca/

The Consulate of Mexico in Del Rio, Texas, Obrador-Garrido presented the following recognition to Hernandez for his years of service to the community.

Left-to-right: Carlos Obrador-Garrido, Mayor Brenda Gunter, and Joe Hernandez
“Joe, I would like to present to you a small token of our appreciation but for us has value for all the help and assistance from you.” 

Joe Hernandez of Hernandez Law Firm receives a recognition award from Carlos Obrador-Garrido, Consul of Mexico to Del Rio.

“To Joe Hernandez for more than 35 years collaborating in the programs of assistance and legal advice and for being facilitator of the mobile consulates in San Angelo, Texas.”

 “This is an honor and a privilege,” said Hernandez. “For many years my office and others has sent people to help them legalize their stay.” 

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