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Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says ID Is Not a Requirement and to Seek Help Without Fear of Detention

August 31, 2023
For more information, contact David Cruz at (818) 689-9991

Washington, DC - In the face of Hurricane Idalia's widespread destruction, LULAC is issuing an emergency call to all residents of Florida, regardless of their immigration status, to seek emergency disaster relief without fear. As the storm impacts lives and property, LULAC emphasizes that safety must be the priority, overshadowing other considerations.

"It is a sad and shameful day in America when people in fear for their lives have to weigh the risk between getting aid in the aftermath of a hurricane or persecution by Governor DeSantis who is using them as piƱatas for his political gain," says Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. "In times of crisis, the welfare of every individual should transcend political agendas, and LULAC echoes this sentiment by urging everyone to prioritize their safety above all else and ask for help if you need it."

This call for unity and safety comes at a critical juncture following the implementation of Florida's SB 1718 law on July 1. While purportedly aimed at curtailing the employment of undocumented workers in the state, this law has cast a shadow of uncertainty over immigrant communities and their rights, particularly as they prepare for the impending hurricane. Some provisions of this law make it a felony to transport an undocumented person into the state and require hospitals to inquire about immigration status. These laws have generated fear and mistrust within these communities.

"Across Florida, individuals and families are suffering needlessly because of Governor DeSantis' hateful policies targeting them," says Lydia Medrano, LULAC national vice president for the Southeast. "These are hardworking men, women, and their children constantly being attacked. LULAC is ensuring that all individuals have access to emergency aid in the wake of Idalia, free from any concerns related to their immigration status. Floridians and all Americans need to tell politicians that comprehensive immigration reform is the only solution to bring people into the light once and for all."

"As the widespread damage from Hurricane Idalia becomes clearer in Florida, LULAC extends its heartfelt support to all residents of the state with a resounding message of support," says Eliseo Santana, Jr., Florida LULAC State Director. "Our immediate priority is the safety; everything else must be set aside during a disaster," he adds.

LULAC stands ready to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to save lives and protect property, fostering a spirit of unity and compassion. "Mi pueblo, together, we can weather the storm, overcome adversity, and emerge stronger as a united community," says Garcia.




The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC's programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/