On Saturday, August 17, the Mexican Consulate General sponsored it's first “Day of Preventative Protection and Update on Immigration Law ( “Jornada de Protección Preventiva y Actualidad Migratoria”) Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 1510 Pannell St in Houston (near Lyons Ave and Gregg Streets). The purpose of the event was to give an opportunity to new Spanish-speaking residents in the area to meet with the Consul General in addition to the church and two attorneys and Fe y Justicia (Faith and Justice Workers Center), which advocates for the rights of immigrant workers. While many of the newcomers are Mexican Citizens, the seminar also provided information and contact numbers for consulates of all Central American and South American countries with a presence in Houston.
In its press release, the Consulate General stated that many Mexican citizens in the area cannot come to the Consulate in Midtown at 4506 Caroline Street during normal business hours. Senior Pastor Harvey Clemons Pleasant Hill Baptist has been active in lobbying for immigration with Pastor Daniel Melendez, inspired as a result of their efforts to assist families in the neighborhood. Pleasant Hill Baptist was founded in 1925 and has been an active community leader over the years. But the influx of new Hispanic residents presents a new challenge. Beginning September 1, Pastor Melendez will offer a Spanish language worship service at 1:45 PM. Both pastors stated that their goal was to go beyond just words and teachings of the faith to practical ways to address the needs of people hurting in the community.
The Mexican Consulate has established an Information Centro de Informacion Sobre Actualidad Migratoria (Center for Information on Immigration News). In addition Several attorneys offer free consulatations from 10 to 12 each week. Attorney Silvia Mintz, who assures the service on Thursdays. deals with immigration, family and civil matters. She gave several examples of the way matters of divorce and custody can become more complex when one or both parents is in Mexico. Other presenters included Sandy Gutierez of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.