Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Illegal Aliens Can Need Help During Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts
Hurricane Sandy And Illegal Residents - How To Help
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the ensuing winter storm that is hitting the New York - New Jersey metropolitan area, there is an alarming concern that is growing regarding the safety and well-being of New York residents who were living here in an 'undocumented status' - in another words, they were illegal immigrants - and many of them have been deeply affected and devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
This is not the time to lodge any debate over your belief on whether human beings devastated by this horrific storm should be in the country or not.
The only thing to remember is that these people - the vast majority trying to build a better life for themselves and their family - have been dramatically hit by the storm and nearly all of them do not have any safety net such as close-by family, job-related benefits and property insurance. And they generally have limited financial resources available.
I am by no means minimizing the difficulties American nations are facing - but this is New York - the amazing place it is because it is made up of immigrants. And regardless of immigration status - our great city runs as the greatest city in the world because in part of all of our residents.
So today, keep in mind that there are many individuals - similar to 9-11 - who are going to not receive the help and assistance they really need. And many of these individuals that will fall through the cracks will be the undocumented residents that amongst many things man our restaurants, that tend to our gardens and homes, and most of all, add to the social and cultural vitality that makes New Yorkers global citizens.
One thing to remember: many of these individuals have young families. They really need your help.
If you are an 'undocumented resident' and need help, please contact FEMA as they are providing assistance for EVERYONE regardless of residence status. Also the Red Cross is helping EVERYONE regardless of residence status. Contact Catholic Charities - you do not need to be Catholic to get help from them - they help everyone equally. Also, your local churches, synagogues, and mosques are helping EVERYONE regardless of residence status. Do not be concerned about anything else - these organizations are really only trying to help and are not concerned about anything else.
And to those who are trying to help - remember, many will fall through the cracks. Your help is so important!
So if you can help in your own way - do so. Now I s The Time To Get involved!
Here are a few important suggestions on how you can do so.
1. Contact your local church and ask them specifically what type of outreach and assistance they have for all Sandy victims. Make sure you also ask that they are doing to help undocumented residents and how you can help. If they have no programs in place to assist Hurricane Sandy victims, consider creating one, or contact a church, synagogue or mosque close by and ask what they're doing.
2. Contact any of your local community clubs and organizations such as your local Rotary or Lions Club and ask them what they are doing to help undocumented residents and how you can help.
3. Contact the leadership of your local schools, or schools in urban areas that have been impacted by the storm, and ask the school's leadership what they are doing to help undocumented residents and how you can help.
4. Contact your local hospital's social services department. Inquire if they are familiar with any cases where a person or family does not have the ability of obtaining assistance (meaning they are undocumented) and ask how you may help.
5. Contact Catholic Charities and inquire from each one of these offices what they are specifically doing to help undocumented workers and how can you help. I have found Catholic Charities to be resourceful and able to make an impact at the very local level, which is important.
7. Some hotels such as Marriott are allowing you to donate your hotel points to the Red Cross without charge. In turn, the Red Cross is providing shelter in part at hotels such as Marriott for those in need.
Conversely, if you are an individual living in the New York area without updated or official papers in need of help due to Hurricane Sandy, please know first and foremost that we are a city of immigrants and as a city of immigrants New Yorkers care about one another.
Make sure you contact FEMA and the organizations listed above in 1-7, including your local church, synagogue, or mosque and ask how they can provide help to you and your family.
Help is out there. There are many people who are willing and eager to help those in need.
Remember everyone - we are all in this together. Acts of humanity and kindness are blind to naturalization papers, religion, color, or religion.
Please help wherever you can. And if anyone has any other suggestions or ideas on how we may help, please right to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly - this is a press release issued by the Department of Homeland Security. The agency must be applauded.