Immigration is critical subject to Mexico, U.S.
By Laura Urseny
The Mercury Register (Oroville, CA), December 3, 2009
Chico, CA — Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, the new consul general of Mexico in Sacramento, said that immigration is as much a concern for Mexico as it is for California.
Hispanic residents who leave their country seeking economic benefit in the U.S. take away skills and energy that is needed in their homeland, he told the Enterprise-Record.
U.S. citizens believe the U.S. is subsidizing the Mexican economy, but it is the opposite, Gutierrez noted.
'Immigration is bad business for Mexico.'
Creating employment in Mexico is a priority for the government, he said.
The consul general was in Chico Thursday as a guest of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Northern California. He toured the town and spoke about international business opportunities in the U.S. and in Mexico during the Chico International Business Symposium, held at the Chico Women's Club.
Gutierrez said Mexicans don't have any option but to bring their whole families, because it's so difficult to get back and forth across the border.
Undocumented Hispanics in the U.S. is another concern, not only for the U.S., but Mexico as well, he said.
'Many people here have lived here for many years, have roots here. They must have the opportunity to register their status.'
Gutierrez said he has been 'encouraged' by President Barack Obama's discussions on immigration.
His second time in Chico, Gutierrez is also exploring ways that Mexico's 200th independence celebration in September 2010 and other celebrations can be observed.
A resident of Mexico City, he became consul general in May. His office serves 24 counties from Modesto to the Oregon border, providing identification and documentation services, help to families during emergencies, educational support, and other assistance.
Hispanic chamber president Maria Shahid of Chico said his information was of interest to Hispanic and non-Hispanics alike.
'We are very excited about the consul's visit,' Shahid said.
Butte College's Center for International Trade Development director Jim Wilson also spoke.
The chamber has been working to support Hispanic businesses with educational programs and networking opportunities, as well as cooperation between Hispanic and non-Hispanic businesses and consumers.
The Hispanic Chamber of Northern California dates back to 2000, and Shahid was one of the founders.
Earlier in the year, she said chamber membership had reached about 140.
'In this economy, people are reaching out to others in new ways, exploring new avenues,' said Shahid about her membership numbers.