Walker has requested for Mexico to open a Mexican Consulate office in the state.
By H. Nelson Goodson
October 17, 2013
Madison, WI – On Monday, Governor Scott Walker (R) announced that he has requested for Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto to open a Mexican Consulate office in the state to serve Mexican nationals in Wisconsin. He also sent a letter to Eduardo Medina-Mora, Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S. requesting a Consulate office in the state.
Walker cites the economic influence Hispanics have in the state and the projected growth in the near future. “Mexico is Wisconsin’s second largest export market. Hispanic-owned businesses in Wisconsin are growing at a rate of 7.6 percent, accounting for $2.4 billion in sales and employing 11,000 people. A consulate office in Wisconsin would help continue the pattern of economic growth,” Governor Walker’s press release stated.
“The Hispanic community in Wisconsin has grown rapidly in recent years,” Governor Walker said. “The Mexican Consulate office serving Wisconsin is located in Chicago, and it also serves Illinois and Indiana. While a mobile consulate is also available, there is a backlog, and Mexican nationals seeking documents in Wisconsin must wait two months or more.”
The U.S. Census reports that 355,468 Hispanics reside in the state or 6.2 percent of the total population in 2012.
In Milwaukee County alone, about 13.9 of the County population is Hispanic. Although Governor Walker doesn’t estimate the projected total of Mexican nationals or undocumented immigrants residing in the state, he is advocating for better services to be provided to Mexican nationals.
Walker’s request for a Mexican Consulate in Wisconsin is a surprise to the state’s Hispanic population as much as it is to the undocumented immigrant population residing in Wisconsin. If Governor Walker is really concern about the economic growth and contributions that the Mexican population residing in the state provide, then he could actually advocate for issuing state driver’s licenses, which Governor Jim Doyle (D) took away from the undocumented immigrant population. Walker can also allow in-state tuition for Mexican nationals graduating from local high schools and working to enroll in state universities and colleges.
It seems Governor Walker is just attempting to gain support and votes from the Mexican-American community by advocating for a Mexican Consulate in the state. But endorsing Wisconsin driver’s licenses and in-state tuition for Mexican nationals could actually swing votes for Walker, if he is genuine in recognizing the rapid economic growth of the Hispanic population in the state.
Governor Scott Walker