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Program aids U.S.-born children in Mexico.

Representatives from the Mexican federal, state and local governments recently joined Mission Mexico to launch a new program called Administrative and Psychological Support for Young Migrants and Children of Migrants. The program now operates in U.S. consular districts in Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Merida, Monterrey and Nogales, and at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

An estimated 600,000 U.S. citizen children live in Mexico, having been born in the United States to Mexican parents who returned to Mexico. Mission Mexico does outreach to their families throughout Mexico and is collaborating with the government of Mexico to provide services to this group of American citizens.

The program will fund counselling for the migrant children to help them adjust to life in Mexico. Many of these children have lived in the United States all their lives and find it hard to adjust to their new lives without assistance.

The program will also help with the legal process of registering U.S. citizen migrant children as dual U.S.-Mexican citizens. U.S. citizen migrant children in Mexico are considered vulnerable, as their families face difficulties registering them as Mexican citizens who were born abroad. (Registering them as Mexican citizens makes them eligible for the social services and educational benefits otherwise only available to Mexican citizens.)

Mission Mexico will also use the program to emphasize the importance of documenting such children as U.S. citizens. The mission's consular officers are aware that most of the children have returned to Mexico without a U.S. passport or other identification.

Parents like the new program, although some fear registering their children in Mexico will affect their child's U.S. citizenship or vice versa. Consular outreach teams are working with their Mexican government counterparts to educate families and children about the importance of having a U.S. passport and to help answer questions related to dual nationality.

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Title Annotation:In the News; Administrative and Psychological Support for Young Migrants and Children of Migrants
Publication:State Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Dec 1, 2014
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