Where in hell's ICE when you need them?
On June 22nd, 2008, the St. George Spectrum reports that hundreds of Mexican nationals were turned away with police assistance on Saturday June 21st during the Mexican Consulate's first visit to Southern Utah in three years. The consulate was stationed at the St. George Catholic Church, where officials issued identification cards and passports to Mexicans, as well as helped with other issues, and operated from 8 A.M. until 2 P.M. Supplemental report by KSL Channel 5, the Salt Lake Tribune, and the Deseret News. The last three media links are of value primarily for the public comments appended, which reflect the sentiments of Utahns.
Police were called by consulate officials to help disperse people who were not on the appointment list from the crowded church facility. Officials estimated that they assisted about 250 families during their visit to St. George. "Basically, we have taken a list to help 250 people today," said Tony Yapias, director of Projecto Latino de Utah. "We will help as many as we can physically handle today." Usually, the consulate will see about 150 people in one visit, he said.
Yapias said the Mexican Consulate can help parents register their children for dual citizenship, assist with issues involving power of attorney, and issue identification cards and passports. Passports help identify who a person is, which can be crucial for Mexicans living in the United States, Yapias said.
The consulate office, which is based in Salt Lake City, serves Mexicans living in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. The consulate travels to different areas within their designated region every weekend to provide mobile counsels. The people who were not able to see consulate officials Saturday may make appointments at the Salt Lake City office.
However, traveling all the way to Salt Lake can be difficult for some. It requires taking a day off from work, which in the case of an hourly employee, is without pay. Then the increased cost of gasoline adds to the expense, and then one either must spend money for accomodation in Salt Lake or sleep in one's own vehicle.
But the big question on most people's minds - how many of the Mexicans were here legally? ICE could have reaped a rich harvest. Just think - If Jason Chaffetz had shown up with a gaggle of ICE agents, he could have won the June 24th primary election on the spot!