A Consulate for Orange County


Orange County in general and the city of Santa Ana in particular have noticeably large Latino populations that include many Mexican nationals, residents and visitors, who often have need of the services of the Mexican government. The latest U.S. Census reported more than 300,000 Latinos living in Orange County.

And because of that large Latino presence, police agencies in the county, on a near-daily basis, need help from the Mexican government in identifying deceased Mexican citizens and in helping injured Mexicans and others with legal problems.

Officials at the Mexican consulate in Los Angeles say that they receive about 100 requests for assistance a day from Orange County residents and officials.


All that adds up to several good reasons for the Mexican government to open a consulate in Orange County, which is what Santa Ana is asking the Mexican government to do. It makes sense.

The request for the first foreign consulate in the county is a matter of convenience, not local prestige. As it is, anyone in Orange County needing the services of the Mexican government must travel to Los Angeles--a time-consuming and costly trip.

At present the establishment of a Mexican consulate in Orange County is strictly in the idea stage. A Mexican official in Los Angeles acknowledged that the consulate there has recognized the growing Mexican population in Orange County and thought of the possibility of establishing an office here. Any such move would require the blessings of the Mexican and U.S. governments and the ratification of Gov. George Deukmejian and the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Santa Ana has started the process by requesting a meeting with officials of the Mexican consulate in Los Angeles to explore the idea. It’s only a first step. But a step in the right direction.