Official presses migrants to obtain IDs - East Valley Tribune: News

Official presses migrants to obtain IDs

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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2007 1:26 am | Updated: 6:35 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Phoenix’s consul general of Mexico urged women from more than 70 Mesa migrant families Thursday morning to apply for passports and ID cards from the Mexican government so that they will have a valid form of identification.

Carlos Flores Vizcarra spoke at a monthly educational meeting aimed at informing local migrant workers about community resources. Vizcarra also detailed Arizona’s new laws affecting immigrants. Meanwhile, countless infants and preschoolers sat on laps, roamed the room or colored in coloring books at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in west Mesa.

Mesa Unified School District migrant liaison Tillie Peralta organized the meeting, which also featured representatives from Mesa’s police and fire departments and the community groups Centro de Amistad and Comité de Familias en Acción. Peralta said the program is intended for the families of all migrant and agricultural workers, not only Hispanics. But every attendee was a Spanish speaker.

Carmen Guerrero of Comité de Familias encouraged a sense of unity in the group. “We can’t do much alone,” she said. “But we can accomplish a lot together.”

Questions for Mesa police spokeswoman Diana Tapia largely centered on documentation. Attendees expressed fears about reporting crimes and asked when authorities can legally request their identification. Tapia said Mesa police officers won’t check identification except when an infraction is committed. She stressed the importance of having a valid license when driving. But ID is not required when calling in crime tips, she said, and passed along the phone number for Silent Witness: (480) 948-6377.

Blanca Barrera of the Mesa Fire Department invited participants to a six-session parenting class on keeping one’s family safe during emergencies.

Singalongs and Peralta’s jokes lightened the mood between speakers, and a potluck and giveaways concluded the event.

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