Walker requests Mexican Consulate office in Wisconsin
MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker is asking the Mexican Consulate to open an office in Wisconsin because of the state's growing Hispanic population.
In a news release Monday, Walker pointed out the Mexican Consulate office serving Wisconsin is located in Chicago, and that office also serves Illinois and Indiana.
While a mobile consulate also is available, Walker said there is a backlog, and Mexican nationals seeking documents in Wisconsin must wait two months or more.
Walker made the request in letters to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Mexico's ambassador to the U.S., Eduardo Medina Mora. The letters were delivered to Mexican Consul General Carlos Jimenez Macias on Friday.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic residents made up 6 percent, or about 355,000 residents, of Wisconsin's population in 2012, Walker's letter said. Milwaukee County's Latino population now makes up nearly 14 percent of the county's population.
"Wisconsin has built a tremendous relationship with Mexico over the years," Walker's letter said. Mexico is Wisconsin's second-largest export market, with $2.2 billion in Wisconsin products sent to Mexico in 2012. Hispanic-owned businesses in Wisconsin are growing at a rate of 7.6 percent year-over-year, accounting for $2.4 billion in sales and employing nearly 11,000 people.
"A consulate office in Wisconsin would help continue this pattern of economic growth," Walker's letter said.