Menendez and Velásquez lead bi-chamber effort calling for federal agencies to increase staffing and review all resources in Spanish as Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Fiona

Menendez and Velásquez lead bi-chamber effort calling for federal agencies to increase staffing and review all resources in Spanish as Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Fiona

Jersey Metropolis, New Jersey – As Puerto Rico begins the method of rebuilding and recovering from the devastating impression of Hurricane Fiona final month, US Senator Bob Menendez (DNJ) and Congressman Nydia Velasquez (DN.Y.-07) Main a two-chamber effort He urged the Biden administration to concern directions to federal companies such because the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA), the Small Enterprise Administration (SBA), the US Division of Agriculture (USDA), the US Division of Housing and City Growth (HUD), and the US Division of State. Well being and Human Companies (HHS), in addition to different providers, to make sure that all requests for help and sources are appropriately translated into Spanish and that adequate Spanish-speaking employees can be found.

“America Fee on Civil Rights launched a report that discovered language entry was a big downside in accessing federal help for survivors of Hurricanes Maria and Harvey,” Lawmakers wrote to President Biden. “In Puerto Rico, FEMA didn’t have sufficient Spanish-speaking employees to accommodate the island, which delayed assist. The fee additionally acquired certification that even after translating paperwork into Spanish, they had been usually inaccurate and complicated. Whereas some enhancements had been made to the This concern, we urge your administration to assessment all Spanish paperwork and sources for accuracy, significantly in mild of latest hurricanes.”

Lawmakers are additionally urging the Biden administration to determine catastrophe restoration facilities in extra municipalities on the island to make sure equitable entry to federal sources and providers.

“DRC is crucial in serving to survivors entry catastrophe help applications, perceive written communications, and find out about federal grant alternatives to make their properties extra resilient,” Lawmakers added. “Many residents don’t at the moment have electrical energy to hook up with the Web. Others could lack laptop expertise to entry it The Web. Moreover, almost 1 / 4 of Puerto Ricans are over the age of 65, they usually could have restricted, if any, laptop data. With web entry Universe A possible concern, the creation of extra DRC would assist guarantee a extra equitable restoration for the island. We additionally ask that you simply prioritize growing fluent Spanish talking employees to offer residents with complete and well timed help.”

Becoming a member of Senator Menendez and Consultant Velasquez in signing the letter had been Majority Chief Chuck Schumer (DNY), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (DNY), Martin Heinrich (DN.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bob Casey (Democrat of Pennsylvania), and Tammy Duckworth ( Democrat from Illinois), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (Democrat from Minnesota), and delegates Adriano Espaillat (DN.Y). -13), Darren Soto (D-Fla.-09), Richie Torres (DN.Y.-15), Nanette Barragan (D-California-44), Albio Ceres (DN.J.-08), Joaquin Castro ( D-Texas-20), Lucille Royal-Allard (D-CA-40), Juan Vargas (D-CA-51) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz-03).

Seek for the letter over right here and underneath.

Expensive President Biden,

As Puerto Rico appears to be like to rebuild and get well from the devastation attributable to Hurricane Fiona, we’re involved in regards to the accessibility and availability of federal aid functions, paperwork, and different supplies in Spanish. We ask that you simply guarantee FEMA, Small Enterprise Administration (SBA), USDA, HUD, HHS, and different federal entities make all sources obtainable, It’s accessible, and correctly translated in Spanish. As well as, we urge FEMA to expedite the institution of Catastrophe Restoration Facilities (DRCs) in extra municipalities in Puerto Rico.

America Fee on Civil Rights launched a report that discovered language entry was a big downside in accessing federal help for survivors of Hurricanes Maria and Harvey.[1] In Puerto Rico, FEMA didn’t have sufficient Spanish-speaking employees to accommodate the island, which delayed assist. The fee additionally acquired certification that even after translating the paperwork into Spanish, they’re usually inaccurate and complicated. Whereas some enhancements have been made to this concern, we urge your administration to assessment all Spanish paperwork and sources for accuracy, particularly in mild of latest hurricanes. We additionally ask that you simply give precedence to growing fluent Spanish talking employees to offer residents with complete and well timed help.

Moreover, we ask that you simply direct FEMA to shortly set up extra catastrophe restoration facilities throughout a number of island municipalities. The DRC is crucial in serving to survivors entry catastrophe help applications, perceive written correspondence, and find out about federal grant alternatives to make their properties extra resilient. Many residents don’t at the moment have electrical energy to hook up with the Web. Others could lack laptop expertise to entry the Web. Moreover, almost 1 / 4 of Puerto Ricans are over the age of 65, they usually could have restricted, if any, laptop data.[2] With web entry being a possible downside, creating extra of the DRC would assist guarantee a extra equitable restoration for the island.

Given the broken infrastructure throughout the island, we urge you to make sure that FEMA, USDA, SBA and all different related federal companies make their sources and functions inclusive and obtainable in Spanish, and set up extra bodily facilities throughout the island for many who lack Web sources. Thanks for contemplating these requests.

sincerely,


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