Mexico Consulate Scheduling Snafu

December 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
For many a passport at the consulate means a trip back to Mexico to visit loved ones this holiday season.It appears a scheduling mistake at a Mexico call center led to a lot of disappointed families Sunday morning. The line of people almost wrapped around the building.

Dozens of families visited the Mexico Consulate for a chance to renew their passports Sunday morning, but the building was closed and no officials were there to help them.

"Sad because we're out here to do what we have to do to be out here you know to get our papers and for them to be like this no! I mean why make appointments if they're not gonna be out here," said Margarita Hernandez.

Children were out in the cold for several hours while parents waited patiently with documents in hand for any word from the consulate.

Many like Hernandez of Merced missed a day of work to be here to obtain a new passport. "Yes, it's a big deal that's how I pay my rent and bills," said Hernandez.

What was frustrating for many people is that they traveled a far distance. Alma Lara and her brother Christian woke up early this morning to make the hour long trip from Delhi. "I doubled checked because I thought it was Sunday you know most places are closed Sunday but they said Sunday and 9am," said Lara.

"Unfortunately we don't know why it happened," said Maria Gomez. Vice Counsel Maria Gomez arrived after everyone had left. She told Action News once a month the consulate works in Bakersfield on the weekend. "It seems that it was a mistake from the call center in Mexico which is the one that arranges the appointments," said Gomez.

These people made their appointments using the 877-MEXITEL number. Gomez said her consulate will investigate the matter and file a formal complaint.

"We are sorry that this happened. We didn't know anything until we were called at ten this morning," said Gomez.

Everyone who showed up here Sunday will have to come back to renew or pick up their passport. For many that means they will have to take off another day off of work to visit the consulate which is open Mon-Fri 8am to 4pm.

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