Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

Double Jeopardy: Undocumented and Flooded Out in Colorado

September 30, 2013
Plain English Version

The rivers in Colorado rose faster than anyone had ever seen. The floods destroyed the homes of the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick, the young and the elderly.

But one group of Colorado residents suffered double pain: undocumented workers and their families. They alone cannot get help from federal government agencies.

The United States improved its disaster relief services after Hurricane Katrina. FEMA is the federal lead agency. It gives loans, emergency housing and referrals to other federal agencies. By law, they can only help U.S. citizens and legal residents.

If there is a child in the household born in America, or if there is a relative who is a legal resident, help is forthcoming. For the rest, there are no papers to sign and no aid to be gotten.

Undocumented people who lose their homes, autos, jobs and possessions can only turn to friends and the community. It is at this time that the best qualities of Americans come out. Local governments, employers and financial donors come forward to help them.

Most of the undocumented Colorado families lived in trailers they owned. Most had no flood insurance. Many fled their trailers with just the clothes they were wearing, leaving pictures and precious possessions behind. Their homes are now marked with a large orange X, meaning “uninhabitable.”

The public response is a true example of how much undocumented workers mean to the communities in which they live. Townspeople and factory owners are helping them find housing. One official said, “We have told them that their immigration status is not our focus. I repeat, not our focus. Our focus is getting people out of the cold, getting a roof over their heads, and getting them a warm meal.”

Source: The New York Times

Print Friendly

In Brief

Too Many Antibiotics Can Make Children Heavier

Children who use a lot of antibiotics gain more weight than others. The weight they gain may stay with them into adulthood.

A study of...

Enemy of the Day: Sugar

The U.S. government is saying how much sugar we should consume. They suggest that only 10 percent of the average person’s calories should come...

Reduce Carbs or Fat: Which is the Best Way to Lose Weight?

According to one expert, “It is a lousy question.” Fats, he said, go from bad to good. All diets should have the “good” monounsaturated...

Warnings About Over-the-Counter Drugs

It is not always safe to take over-the-counter drugs (OTCs). The longer you take them, the greater the risk you will incur. They may...


  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by DictionaryBox.com
Click to listen highlighted text!