Mexican Consulate in Milwaukee Celebrates Grand Opening
The Mexican Consulate in Milwaukee celebrated its official grand opening on Tuesday (August 330). It has been opened for three months on Prospect Avenue in Milwaukee’s east side.
The consulate offers services like birth certificates, Visas and ID’s (known as Matricula Consular in Spanish), and power of attorney. This location means that thousands of Mexicans who live in Wisconsin won’t have to drive to Chicago to receive these services.
Governor Scott Walker and Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruiz Massieu unveiled the plaque and were joined by others to cut the ribbon.
Massieu said Wisconsin is home to 270,000 Mexicans, who represent 73 percent of the Latino community and almost 5 percent of the state’s total population.
“This consulate is important because it will provide service for a community of Mexican-origin of over 270,000 people here in Wisconsin," Massieu said.
There was a lot of focus on the economy. Mexico is the second largest market for Wisconsin’s exports. Governor Walker said that’s why the consulate is essential to bilateral relations.
"Last year of out of our five trading partners, Mexico is the only one that saw an increase for the last 20 years, it’s a 720 percent increase in terms of the economic value in exports into Mexico," Walker said.
Milwaukee's Mayor Tom Barrett even brushed up on his Spanish and welcomed the consulate. He said the demand for a consulate is high.
"I think it's great, i think the more individuals that establish who they are and get the documents they need, the more at ease they can be in navigating Milwaukee society," Barrett said.
The talks turned political just one day before Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is set to give an immigration speech. However, both Walker and Massieu tried to shift the focus to trade.
"It doesn't matter ultimately who the president is in that regard that we're still going to have a strong relationship and we're still going to highlight exports," Walker said.
Massieu said, "That is an internal affair that does not have anything to do with the Mexican government, we will continue to work together, to cooperate together."
The Mexican Consulate in Milwaukee sees an average of 80-90 people a day. In June, it saw 274 people, in July, 538, and in August so far, 513.