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News : Calls Skyrocket at Tucson Immigration Call Center
Tucson, AZ, USA, Feb 13, 2017 -- Phones are ringing off the hook at a Tucson call center dedicated to helping Mexican nationals in the U.S.
CIAM, or the Center for Information and Assistance for Mexicans, is located inside the Consulate of Mexico in Tucson. It is the only call center of its kind in the country.
"The right information, the right counseling, resources and services are put to them by the Mexican government," said Ricardo Pineda, Consul of Mexico in Tucson.
Forty operators field calls on everything from legal questions to searches for family members in immigration detention facilities.
"We want them to not be misled by people who are not authorized and make promises about this or that," explained Pineda. "Some people will ask for money in exchange for things they cannot even deliver."
The center opened about a year ago, but calls have nearly doubled over the past few weeks. Sometimes, operators answer fifteen hundred calls a day.
Consul Pineda believes concern over President Trump’s executive order on immigration is behind the boost in phone traffic.
"There is a concern, a growing concern about what is going on and how they can be impacted," he said.
The center has now expanded to keep up with growing demand.
"We are working twenty four hours, Monday through Sunday," said Pineda. "We want them to be fully informed, fully educated about what's going on."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, February 17, 2017