Undocumented Immigrants Still In Post-Storm Limbo

February 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Midland Beach — When New York City unveiled plans last Wednesday to spend the bulk of its first $1 billion in federal aid for Hurricane Sandy on loans and grants for homeowners and on shoring up public housing and utility networks against future disasters, there was no mention of one of its most unprotected populations – undocumented immigrants.

The funds represent nearly $1.8 billion destined for the city in the first stage of a $51 billion federal recovery package for New York and neighboring states. “These funds will help New Yorkers who were the hardest hit by Sandy get back on their feet and help communities build back,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

The plans include $350 million in grants for 9,300 low-to-moderate-income owners of single-family homes, and $250 million on grants and low-interest loans for repairs on nearly 13,000 units of low-to-middle-income homes and apartments.

The most vulnerable New Yorkers bore the brunt of the storm’s wrath – middle- and lower-income households, or those less able to quickly recover from a disaster of such magnitude. The undocumented were particularly susceptible, even those who had children or grandchildren born in the United States and thus eligible for federal aid.

“There’s a lot of confusion and uncertainty,” says Sara Cullinane, Sandy relief coordinator for the non-profit Make the Road New York, a grassroots organization assisting storm victims on Long Island and Staten Island. “I knew it was a disaster when it hit but it feels like there’s a second disaster, which is just figuring out how to access aid and how to make the system work.”

Last week, a spokeswoman for Bloomberg said in an email that “details for the recovery programs … are in the process of being worked out.” Governor Cuomo’s office did not return a call seeking comment.

Continue reading on the City Limits website.


Mutual of America PSEG


MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, the Anderson Family Fund, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, Jody and John Arnhold, Rosalind P. Walter, Ellen and James S. Marcus, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross.


© 2017 WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019