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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Closure of U.S. Consulate in the Azores


UPDATE on Potential Closing of the U.S. Consulate in Ponta Delgada
Source:  LUSUS
The Online Newsletter of PALCUS  
April 2012   
  

PALCUS has been assured by our contacts at the U.S. Department of State that there are no plans to close the U.S. Consulate in Ponta Delgada at this time. Nevertheless, Congressman Dennis Cardoza (CA18 -D ), co-chairman of the House Portuguese-American Caucus addressed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton directly on this matter at the House hearing of the Foreign Budget for F.Y. 2013 on February 29th.

Congressman Cardoza expressed his concern regarding the possible closing of the U.S. Consulate in Ponta Delgada and the decision to move the application of I-IV and DV visas from the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon to that in Paris.

Secretary Clinton's reply in the record follows:

"CLINTON : Well, first, with respect to Portugal, I share your view that Portugal is a wonderful friend and not only a good partner in NATO and so many other areas, but the source of a lot of Portuguese-Americans, culture, food, so much else.I will have to take those questions for the record, Congressman, because I want to look into the two areas that you raised. But I want to assure you that we highly value our relationship with Portugal. And we'll be very careful in making any decisions that would affect the free flow of people and trade."

PALCUS would like to thank Congressman Cardoza for taking the question in person directly to Secretary Clinton on behalf of Portuguese-Americans in the United States. Meanwhile, PALCUS will continue to press the issue with its contacts at the State Department and through its letter-writing campaign. 

September 22, 2011

Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Washington D.C.

Dear Madam Secretary,
It has been brought to our attention the possible closure of the U.S. Consulate in Ponta Delgada, Azores for economic reasons.
The closure of the Consulate would be a burden for the many Azoreans who regularly visit the Consulate for the most varied reasons. It is not sufficient that they must travel within the archipelago at great cost to resolve personal and business matters, closure of the Consulate would bring an additional burden by forcing them to travel to Lisbon, a distance of some 900 miles to handle these same matters.
Additionally, the consular presence maintains good will between the over one million Azorean descendants who are U.S. Citizen and their ancestral home.
The U.S. Consulate in the Azores is the oldest consulate in continuous operation in the world, having opened when President George Washington appointed the first official U.S. Consul, John Street, in 1795, when Thomas Jefferson was our Secretary of State.
For these reasons, I urge you to reconsider the closure of the U.S. Consulate in the Azores.

Respectfully,

José M, L. Alves
Azorean by Birth, U.S. Citizen by Choice

1 comment:

benjamin said...

Have we heard a followup yet?