I bet the Mexican Embassy in Washington never sees this much action. The Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles issued an average of 316 passports a day in January 2007, La Opinion reported today. In 2006, the consulate issued an average of 146 passports a day. It's not likely the demand will subside under the government's new passport rules at U.S. airports. At the same time, the feds are also increasing the fees for citizenship from $330 to $595, a nasty new line of red tape that will further trip up new workers on their quest to integrate into U.S. society. For illegal immigrants from farther countries, their sole option appears to be sitting indefinitely at a "futuristic tent city" detention camp in Texas, which sounds like a domestic Guantanamo:
But civil liberties and immigration law groups allege that out of sight, the system is bursting at the seams. In the Texas facility, they say, illegal immigrants are confined 23 hours a day in windowless tents made of a Kevlar-like material, often with insufficient food, clothing, medical care and access to telephones. Many are transferred from the East Coast, 1,500 miles from relatives and lawyers, virtually cutting off access to counsel.
"I call it 'Ritmo' -- like Gitmo, but it's in Raymondville," said Jodi Goodwin, an immigration lawyer from nearby Harlingen.