Mexican consulate helps Latino parents at Memphis school

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Mexican consulate is in Memphis this week to help members of the Latino community update their immigration documents and help answer questions.

The consulate is at Belle Forest Community School, 3135 Ridgeway Road, until Friday.

Belle Forest principal Lori Phillips said the school has hosted the consulate once a month for the past three years, but this year it is even more important.

“I felt that it was so important,” Phillips said, “because it saves so many families a trip from having to drive all the way to Conway, Arkansas, when they can come right here.”

Phillips said hundreds of parents are serviced each month.

With the recent attention of immigration raids in Shelby County, Phillips and others are hoping this will help some families be less fearful to register their kids for school.

“I know there are parents that are really afraid.” Phillips expressed. “I know that there are parents that are concerned. I know that there are parents that may have expired passports.”

Charles Blatteis, consulting attorney for the consulate, was in town speaking with law enforcement agencies.

“The police chief explained the police support of the immigrant community, and that they are not an extension of ICE,” he said. “That is a separate federal agency.”

Blatteis said that the consulate and the police discussed the recent arrest of a bail bondsman who was illegally holding immigrants, and said police would be arresting anyone who attempts anything similar.

Phillips said she hopes that any family in Memphis who has questions will come and ask questions.

“Belle Forest is a hub that is here not just for our parents of Belle Forest but for parents all over the city of Memphis.”

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