Mexico plans to strengthen consular protection for migrants

MEXICO CITY (AP) " Mexico's government said Wednesday it will set up a toll-free number for Mexicans in the United States to obtain information or report any incidents as it moves to strengthen consular protection for its citizens.

The foreign relations department announced the measures on Wednesday, one week after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election.

Trump wasn't mentioned in the statement, but the American president-elect has said he plans to deport 2 million to 3 million immigrants soon after taking office.

Mexico's government will strive to "strengthen the dialogue with state and local authorities" in the U.S., the department said, with a network of 50 consulates north of the border reaching out to Mexican citizens.

The department also advised Mexicans living in the United States "to avoid any conflict situation."

"There is some nervousness because we don't exactly know what is going to happen, and that is why we are strengthening the role of the consulates," Carlos Sada, Mexico's ambassador to the United States said at an event in Mexico City. He said "the first step is for (Mexicans) to be well informed."

The U.S. business community has also been rattled by Trump's promises to make changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which benefits many U.S. firms in Mexico.

Jodi Hanson Bond, vice president for the Americas of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said "we have to make the case. We saw in this election that you don't win by being silent, you can't shape the conversation without engagement."

Hanson Bond said that in coming weeks "we will engage the Trump Administration and we will engage key stakeholders to advocate the importance of this bilateral relationship."

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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