Resources for Immigrants Displaced by Hurricane Katrina

February 1, 2006

Disaster assistance is available to "qualified" immigrants, which includes lawful permanent residents, refugees, asylees, Cuban-Haitian entrants, and battered spouses and children. Unauthorized immigrants and non-immigrant workers (also known as temporary workers) are eligible for non-cash, in kind emergency disaster relief such as food and shelter, search and rescue and emergency medical care.
  • The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report on Hurricane Katrina-Related Immigration Issues and Legislation on September 19, 2005, available on the State Department website.
  • The National Immigration Law Center has posted a summary of benefits immigrants may receive. "Disaster Assistance: Food, Shelter, Cash Payments, Loans, and Other Help for Victims of Major Disasters", along with government agency links is available here. The government agency links include DHS on I-9 employment verification procedures; FEMA; USDA Food and Nutrition Services; HUD housing; US Citizenship and Immigration Services; Medicare and Medicaid; Social Security and SSI. Links to information from nonprofits is also included.
  • The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has posted a 4-page summary on "What Services Are Available to USCIS Customers Affected by Hurricane Katrina?" here.