The stately building with stone columns formerly occupied by Chase Bank on George Street will be the home of Mexico’s first consulate in New Jersey.
Mariana Diaz, consul of Mexico in New Brunswick, told TAPinto New Brunswick that desks are being installed and other renovations are being made to the space at 390 George St. with the goal of opening the doors in June.
She said a staff of 27 will work in the consulate, providing assistance with passports, the issuance of consular ID cards, the acquisition of voter ID cards, the registration of the United States-born children of Mexicans who live in the United States for dual citizenship, and other services.
Diaz announced in January that the consulate was coming to New Brunswick, home to New Jersey’s second-largest population of Mexican immigrants behind only Passaic.
She said New Brunswick was chosen as the home of the consulate not only because of the large Mexican population, but also because the city is accessible through NJ Transit’s trains and buses, and major roadways including the Garden State Parkway, Turnpike, and Routes 1 and 18.
“We’re very excited to be there,” Diaz said. “It’s going to take a little time to get the office up and running, to get the office set up according to our needs. But, we’ve taken the first step, which was the priority, which was to find the right location for the consulate.”
Previously, New Jersey residents who needed to help with in-person issues such as the signing of legal documents would have had to travel to the consulate in Manhattan.
Diaz said the new consulate will serve residents in 13 counties, and she has spent a lot of time over the past few months visiting Passaic, Newark, and other areas of the state.
She said visiting Mexican nationals where they live and work will be useful in understanding what services they will need.
For instance, she said a free, six-month course known as Mexicana Emprende will surely be well received in places such as New Brunswick where the entrepreneurial spirit runs strong.
“It’s just to empower women who have this idea to open a business, to give them the tools to do so,” Diaz said. “In that program, I’m already identifying the right partners because everything here is done as a team. So, we have to partner with the local organizations that are already doing so much to empower people to open a business.”
Diaz said she is also meeting with various officials across the state to establish formal relations. New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill, in particular, has been very welcoming, she said.
“He has been fantastic to us,” Diaz said.
There are more than 239,000 Mexican nationals in New Jersey according to the most recent census figures.
Story & Photo By: Chuck O'Donnell