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Consul of Morocco in New York: This is how we facilitate life on Moroccans in the US.

Monday, 13 October 2014

In an interview with Hespress, The general consul of Morocco in New York, Mohamed Ben Abdeljalil, talked about the efforts of the embassy to serve Moroccan immigrants in forty eight American states, along with the cities entrusted to the Consulate of Washington.

According to the consul, there is a strong will to facilitate the lives of the Moroccan community, despite the load of work coming from the responsibility over the Moroccans in 48 states, which makes it hard to reply to all incoming phone calls.

Ben Abdeljalil adds that the Consulate services have been dispatched, the past year, to a number of distant states in order to relieve the Moroccans from coming all the way to New York.                                                                    For instance having a passport today requires no longer than one to two weeks.

Mr. the Consul, can you give us an overall picture of the functioning of the consulate in New York with the community?

The Moroccan consulate in New York covers the forty-eight states of the United States of America. We deal directly with the citizens who come to us, as well as engaging  with them via e-mail, either through the agency or passport renewal, since there are things that can be done via e-mail, if the national identification card is provided.

Things are going well, nowadays, where having the passport take no longer than a week or two, as to the citizens who come to our consulate, they’re  mostly residents of New York and its suburbs, or from nearby cities such as Boston and Philadelphia. They usually come either to apply for the national card, or for fingerprinting procedures.

We know that the United States is a vast country, and travelling from one state to another may require long hours of flying, including requisite expenses, how do you help the Moroccans living in distant states to deal with their administrative interests?

Besides the transmission of documents through the mail, in some cases, there is another mechanism represented in a decentralized consulate, this initiative happened in Houston, we also went to Orlando and Chicago, and Los Angeles. Our endeavor is to bring our services closer to the citizen, and to facilitate the lives and administrative procedures of the Moroccans living in the United States.

According to the numbers that you have, what is the American city that has the largest concentration of the Moroccan community?

I believe it is Florida as well as New York. These cities embrace most of the Moroccan community. 250 thousand to 300 thousand Moroccans reside in the United States of America, in Florida, for example, there are about thirty thousand, and approximately 24 thousand in Gotham these days. As to the Moroccan community residing in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland, there is a consular section of the Embassy of Morocco in Washington that handles their affairs.

Many Moroccans residing either in the United States or in other countries, complain that their applications and their requests are usually delayed because the Moroccan consulate is too busy to deal with them?

What I can talk about is the Moroccan consulate in New York, which I joined in September 2012.  Ever since that time, we’ve been striving to respond, as much as we can, to the Moroccan citizens, wherever they are.

In some occasions, there will be some difficulties, because essentially our consulate covers the 48 states, and so we try to answer all the calls, in a reasonable time. The pressure and load of work may increase during certain seasons, especially during the summer vacation, and the periods leading up to the holidays, therefore, it becomes difficult to respond to all incoming calls, so we ask the Moroccan citizens to understand the situation in some times, and leave a message after contacting the consulate, in the answering machine, and provide their numbers as well so that we can reach them later, because usually they leave their messages but not their numbers. Ultimately, our aim is that every citizen gets the corresponding answer to their requests.

Interviewed by: Hicham Tasmart/HESPRESS

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