A new service being provided by Mexican consulates in the U.S. offers Mexican nationals the ability to get their birth certificates without having to leave the country.
Through the use of a database in Mexico containing the information of citizens in the 31 Mexican states and the federal district of Mexico City, the 50 Mexican consulates in the U.S. can now access and print birth certificates in about 10 minutes, says Carlos Manuel Sada, L.A.'s Mexico consul general.
"We are very pleased, and I would say in particular excited, because this is a document that is crucial for a lot of our people ... that do not have access to the birth certificate," Sada told KPCC.
A birth certificate is required for immigrants to use when applying for a driver's license, deferred action policies such as DACA and for other immigration services.
"It was a pending issue that we needed to do," Sada said.
The service would ease the painful and complex process many Mexican immigrants had to go through in order to attain their documents until now. Many had to travel back to Mexico or had to ask someone there to get it for them — a process that could take months.
The documentation service is simple and only requires a name, date of birth and place of birth. People seeking their birth certificate would have to be registered in their home state in Mexico — a factor that could be a problem for people from rural parts of the country whose birth certificate may not be digitized or people from Mexican states whose database is not up to date.
"This is going to put more pressure on the different states so that they can expedite the digitization of the database and to increase the number of people that are there," Sada said.
Despite some obstacles, Sada says he believes the new service will remove challenges for many.
"It is a fantastic facilitation of something that is so crucial for getting a document here in the United States for Mexican people," Sada said.
The cost for the service? Thirteen dollars.