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Roving Mexican Consulate Staff Visits White Plains

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Roman Almorin was among dozens who lined up outside the White Plains Library at 6 a.m. Thursday for a chance to meet with a member of the Mexican Consulate.

Although the staff from the Mexican Consulate General of New York's office weren't scheduled to arrive until 10 a.m., Almorin, 55,  joined others who arrived early to enhance their chances of getting a ticket verifying they would be assisted Thursday. Enough Westchester families and others traveling from as far as Albany, Syracuse and Newark have stopped by the library to get Mexican passports and consulate identifications that officials have had to turn people away. The roving consulate's office is already completely booked for its final day in White Plains this Friday.

Phil Orzuqa, 31, said he was pleased he could bring his father to the library near their White Plains home instead of making the trek to Manhattan.

"There's a lot of people they're not able to do today. They should do it again," said Orzuqa.

Mariel Perez, who works at the library, suggested that administrative staff look into the program after noticing how successful it was at the Yonkers Library.

Assistant Library Director Kathleen Degyansky said "it's wonderful for us to be able to do this" and that she hopes to bring the roving Mexican consulate service back again.

"We only recently learned that the Peruvian government also has some sort of a mobile passport," she said. "We're going to look into it. We don't know any others that do it."

Gabriel Avila, 42, of Port Chester, said he wished the library or consulate could have been more clear about how many people it could serve each day to prevent people from missing work or school for no reason.

"Some people have been here two or three times for this. A lot of people took a day off work and didn't send their kids to school," said Avila, a landscaper and painter. "They need to have more respect for their time."

Julio Garcia, a press representative for the Mexican Consulate General of New York's office, said the mobile program was started in 2008 to bring services to Mexican nationals who live far from the city.

"We have two roving units that go to a specific location and stay there for five days," Garcia said. "In this particular case we hadn’t been to White Plains in a couple of months and it just so happens that this time around (there were) a lot more people than we expected just based on our calculations from having been doing this for a number of years."

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