Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Mexico’s secretary of foreign relations in the cabinet of President Felipe Calderón, underscored during a recent visit to Atlanta the responsibility of the Mexican Consulate General here to serve some 700,000 Mexicans living in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

Ms. Espinosa spoke at the 30th celebration of the consulate’s founding in Atlanta held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead on July 6. Karen Handel, Georgia’s secretary of state, and other officials attended the event.

Ms. Espinosa said that the consulate’s main challenge is to keep pace with the dynamic demographic trends taking place in the region with the Mexican community tripling in size since 1990.

Atlanta’s consulate like the 47 other Mexican consulates in the United States “will continue to implement health and education programs that benefit the most vulnerable in our communities,” she told the 270 dinner guests.

Ms. Espinosa specifically cited the consulate’s tasks of achieving broader recognition of consular identification credentials by local, state and federal authorities in the U.S. and of promoting money transfer services to Mexican families south of the border.

While she said that Mr. Calderón considered the recent U.S. Senate vote opposing immigration reform “aggravates the problem,” she added that he would work to enhance security on both sides of the border.

“At the same time, the administration of President Felipe Calderón will enhance domestic social and economic policies that contribute to create jobs and opportunities for all Mexicans in our own economy,” she said.

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