Speed Reads

Immigration Reform

Mexico opens legal defense centers at U.S. consulates: 'We have never seen this type of force'

Mexico on Saturday opened legal defense centers at its consulates in all 50 U.S. states in response to President Trump's hardline immigration policy.

"We are not promoting illegality," said Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray. "Today we are facing a situation that can paradoxically represent an opportunity, when suddenly a government wants to apply the law more severely," he added. "It is becoming more than evident that to apply the law, which is the obligation of any state, would also imply a real economic damage to this country which highlights the need for immigration reform." Videgaray urged the United States to devise a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants.

At the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Wednesday, nearly 500 people — 10 times the expected attendance — came to a seminar with immigration lawyers explaining their legal rights. In 20 years of practice, "we have never seen this type of force, so excessive that it seeks to find a way to deport immigrants in the U.S., and even legal immigrants, people with residency," said immigration attorney Barbara Melendez, who spoke at the event. The lawyers advised immigrants to know their rights, be honest with authorities, and never resist arrest.