Addressing the Needs of Immigrants in Response to Natural and Human-Made Disasters in the United States

  • Date: Nov 08 2006
  • Policy Number: 20061

Key Words: Disasters, Emergency Medical Services, Federal Health Services, Health, Federal Appropriations


In less than a decade, the United States has experienced two major disasters - the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and the 2005 hurricanes in the Gulf Coast. In both of these instances, public officials have struggled to provide an adequate emergency response and implement measures to protect the health and safety of affected communities and rescue workers and volunteers.1,2 Racial and ethnic minorities are at risk in face of disasters in terms of preparedness, impact, the aftermath, and rebuilding and clean-up efforts.3

Immigrants4 in disaster areas are especially vulnerable because of their immigration status, lack of English proficiency, and lack of access to resources.5 Consider, for example, the experience of immigrant Mexican teenagers who were working to remove excrement-fouled carpets without protective equipment as part of the New Orleans clean-up effort after Hurricane Katrina.6 In another example, Brazilian workers recruited to perform post-hurricane cleanup work were given inadequate protective equipment and had to eat their lunch in the midst of medical waste and dead laboratory animals while sitting on chairs that they had just removed from a hospital basement.7 According to the Environmental Protection Agency, such post-disaster cleanup activities can pose "significant environmental and health challenges" with potential exposure to life-threatening hazards which require implementation of safety procedures and use of protective equipment.8 The problems caused by working with harmful substances and in dangerous conditions are compounded by the lack of adequate health and medical services, especially for undocumented workers.5

The increasing diversity in the United States and the significant demographic changes throughout its regions in recent years call for a more targeted response in meeting the needs of immigrants in affected disaster areas. Immigrants represented 12.0 percent of the U.S. population in 2004.9 Of the 34.3 million immigrants in the United States, less than half (42 percent) are naturalized citizens. Furthermore, 52.4 percent of immigrants are from Latin America, 27 percent are from Asia, 14.3 percent from Europe, and 3.3 percent are from Africa. Of the total U.S. population over age five, 18.7 percent speak a language other than English at home, with 8.4 percent nationwide speaking English less than "very well."10

Traditionally, California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey and Illinois have been the primary destination for new immigrants, accounting for 68 percent of all immigrants in the United States.11 In more recent years, other regions have been experiencing rapid growth in immigrant populations. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of immigrants increased by 88 percent in the South, 65 percent in the Midwest, 50 percent in the West, and 38 percent in the Northeast. When one looks at individual states outside of the "traditional destination" states, the numbers appear even more dramatic. Immigrant populations increased between 1990 and 2000 by 274 percent in North Carolina, 233 percent in Georgia, and 202 percent in Nevada.11 In the year 2000, the top five immigrant groups in the Gulf States were Vietnamese, Honduran, Mexican, Indian, and Cuban.12

Immigrants comprised 21.4 million (14.5 percent of the total) of the U.S. labor force in 2004. The number of immigrant labor force participants grew a net of about 1.2 million and accounted for a little less than half of the total labor force growth between 2002 and 2004.13 Immigrant families, even though they are just as likely to have a full-time worker in the family, are more likely to be poor than citizen families, due to the fact that immigrants often perform low-wage jobs, especially during their initial period of adjustment in the United States. Immigrants also are more likely to work for small businesses and in the agricultural, labor, and repair industries.14 

Despite these challenges, immigrants play an important role in U.S. society and the economy. New immigrants tend to be young adults who join the labor force.15 They also tend to be healthier than U.S. citizens or immigrants who have been here for 10 years or longer - which means fewer public expenditures and more work.5, 16,17 Immigrant workers meet a demand for labor that is otherwise not met by citizen workers, and the U.S. economy depends on the continued presence of immigrants to sustain its current growth.18 Their purchasing power as new consumers of goods and services and the new businesses that they start create jobs and contribute to revitalization of depressed economic areas.15 In fact, inner cities with the greatest job growth count immigrants as nearly a third of their population, while inner cities with low percentages of immigrants are losing jobs.19 

Excluding refugees (who come to the United States for humanitarian purposes under U.S. foreign policy), low-income immigrants also are much less likely to receive major public benefits such as cash assistance, food stamps, and health coverage, than low-income citizens.15, 20

America's changing demographics necessitate a targeted response to address the needs of immigrants, including low-income, non-English-proficient and/or undocumented immigrants, in disaster areas. Without such a targeted response, federal, state, local and private entities miss an opportunity to provide an effective, adequate and equitable emergency response to ensure the health and safety of all those who reside in the United States.

Needs of Immigrants and Refugees 

Many of the short-term and long-term needs of immigrants and refugees affected by disasters are similar to those of other internally displaced persons. However, immigrants face particular problems and barriers relating to their immigration or refugee status, limited English proficiency, discrimination, and other factors that can impede access to disaster relief and other services that affect their health status and well being.5, 21, 22 

These include: 

A. Lack of involvement in preparedness planning. Racial and ethnic minorities, including immigrants, are less likely to have had disaster educational opportunities and to be involved in hazard preparedness, such as stockpiling emergency supplies and/or purchasing insurance.3, 23 Similarly, other persons with special needs, such as persons who are frail elderly and persons with mobility impairments, cognitive impairments or other disabilities also have to be involved in and/or taken into account in disaster preparedness.24

B. Lack of information on their rights and available assistance. Immigrants and refugees typically do not have access to accurate information about the services and benefits available to them and how their immigration or refugee status affects their eligibility for these services and benefits.25, 26

C. Language and cultural barriers to emergency response and assistance. Cultural ignorance, ethnic insensitivity, racial isolation and racial bias in information dissemination and relief assistance all contribute to the disparate impact to and recovery for low-income persons of color.3, 23 Persons with limited English proficiency (including immigrants and refugees) for example, often do not get the information they need about available disaster relief and their legal rights.26 In the past, government agencies and major private relief agencies typically have failed to provide materials or interpreters to serve monolingual survivors or to provide culturally appropriate services, and agencies with linguistic and cultural capacity often are small and very under-resourced.27

D. Barriers to disaster relief and government benefits. Immigrant eligibility rules complicate access to the benefits that many need to protect their health and get back on their feet. For example, lawfully residing immigrants cannot access Medicaid and other federal means-tested public benefits during their first five years in the country under the provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act,28 a policy whose flaws are particularly apparent when applied to disaster victims whose needs for assistance are immediate. Even after five years, benefits are extended only to those in a limited range of immigration categories. These categories do not include immigrants who have been lawfully residing long-term, such as those granted temporary protected status (TPS). Undocumented immigrants, although eligible for non-cash emergency disaster relief, are not eligible for cash benefits or assistance from many existing programs such as non-emergency Medicaid. Even when immigrants are eligible for assistance, many are afraid to apply due to fears that receipt of benefits will have "public charge" consequences, compromising future efforts to secure permanent legal status.29, 30, 31

E. Lack of legal status. Fearing immigration consequences, many immigrants are reluctant to seek assistance.23,27,30,32,33 In some cases, like in the Katrina hurricane disaster, some immigrants reportedly have been denied assistance by major relief organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.23,27 Also, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not consistently assured affected immigrants that information they provided to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other relief agencies in the course of seeking disaster assistance would not be used as a tool of immigration enforcement against them, an assurance that was extended after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but not after the Katrina hurricane disaster.33 It was reported, that when FEMA set up their offices to receive post-Katrina disaster relief, they often used Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers as their "security."23

F. Loss of legal status. The ability of immigrants to remain in the United States lawfully may be compromised. For example, if an immigrant worker-s legal status is tied to a particular employer and that employer is wiped out by a disastrous event, the worker may face forced departure on top of other hardships.21 Similarly, an immigrant who derives legal status from a spouse or family member who dies in a disaster may have lost the legal right to remain in the United States.30

G. Loss of documents proving lawful immigration or refugee status and employment authorization. Non-citizens may lose identity documents necessary to prove lawful status so that they can obtain employment, travel, and other benefits that would allow them to survive in the communities where they have relocated without fear of immigration enforcement or harassment by local law enforcement or others. They need assistance to re-establish their identities and their legal status.21,30

H. Loss of refugee services and re-traumatization. Some of the victims displaced by the disaster were already refugees in the process of resettling in the United States. Refugees are admitted to the United States. via an organized time-limited program that seeks to ensure a smooth transition, both for the refugees and for the communities where they settle. This program has been destroyed in the Katrina-affected areas, but the special linguistic, cultural and mental health needs faced by refugees remain. Under current law, temporary medical and cash assistance are available to refugees only during the first eight months after they secure such status; other services may be available only during their first few years in the country. An extension of such services will be necessary to ensure a smooth transition and integration into a new community. Such assistance will also help the receiving communities that otherwise do not have the resources to cope with an influx of refugees with special needs.26,35 

I. Danger to health and safety and unfair treatment of immigrant workers involved in reconstruction. As in the case of the 9/11 attacks and hurricane Katrina, immigrant workers often are heavily engaged in reconstruction efforts. Immigrant workers have encountered substandard, unsanitary or no housing, nonpayment of wages, and dangerous working conditions, including exposure to mold, particulate matter, asbestos fibers, lead, silica-containing dusts, toxic fumes, contaminated sediment, hazardous waste, contaminated flood water and other hazards without appropriate safety equipment and training, with threats of removal if they complain.5, 7, 35, 37-40 Federal action and law enforcement also can leave immigrant workers even more vulnerable to exploitation and dangerous work conditions. For example, immigration authorities impersonated OSHA officers in a widely publicized sting operation in North Carolina. Law enforcement officers and/or U.S. Marshals reportedly raided two Red Cross shelters in Mississippi, targeted Latinos, assumed that they were undocumented workers instead of hurricane survivors, and told them to leave.5, 23, 27 Also, on Sept. 8, 2005, the administration suspended the Davis-Bacon Act, which normally requires contractors on federally funded construction projects to pay workers the local prevailing wage, in areas affected by Katrina. Application of the law was reinstated on Nov. 8, 2005, in response to an outcry from labor unions and members of Congress from both parties who were concerned with profiteering at the expense of workers.27,41-44 However, immigrant workers, particularly those who are undocumented, continue to face wage exploitation and other abuses.5

J. Pre-existing racial, ethnic and economic disparities. Communities suffering from poverty, discrimination, unemployment, safe and adequate housing shortages, homelessness and other issues even before disaster strikes are susceptible to the worst impact of disasters and experience greater difficulty in recovery and reconstruction.3,45 

K. Inadequate Safety-Net and Insufficient Appropriate Resources. The impact of disasters such as 9/11 or Katrina is also more harshly felt by low-income communities and persons of color, including immigrants, because of an under-resourced safety net that continues to be eroded. Programs upon which low-income individuals rely, including Medicaid, SSI, foster care, child support enforcement, and student loans, are being gravely undermined by tremendous domestic program budget cuts,46-48 tax breaks for the highest income individuals,49 and billions of dollars of war spending, contributing to a debilitating national deficit.50 
It should be noted that APHA policies 200123, 9401, 9501, 9601, 9401 and 8223 all specifically support immigrant access to health services regardless of documentation status; that APHA Policy 9009: A Call to Reject English-Only Legislation urges states that have enacted English-only legislation to make provisions so that translation and culturally and linguistically relevant materials are provided; that APHA Policy 200120: Support for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Mental Health Care specifically urges states and local providers to comply with Executive Order 13166 which mandates a system by which individuals with limited English proficiency can meaningfully access services; that APHA policies LB-01-03, 2002-5, 2002-7, 2005-4 urge worker protection, including immigrant worker, health and safety while responding to disasters;51 and that APHA policies 2003-13, 9602, 8802 urge the federal government to maintain and expand Medicaid funding, policies 8128 and 6810 request the continuation of funding for food assistance programs that alleviate malnutrition and the problems associated with it, and policy 5702 requests the Public Health Service to increase its activities in the hygiene of housing. 


Therefore, APHA calls upon Congress, federal and state agencies, local governments, and private relief agencies to implement the following policies and actions to protect the health and well-being of immigrants and the public health of all persons in affected disaster areas and in the states in which immigrants and other survivors have relocated: 

  1. As part of the disaster planning process, undertake a demographic assessment to obtain a profile of race, ethnicity, refugee status, primary language and other special needs (i.e. disability) and ensure engagement of all members of the community in the disaster-reduction process - from the disaster preparedness planning stage. This could include forging relationships with neighborhood associations, churches and other community groups so that communities can have a prominent role in identifying the needs and formulating strategies to disseminate appropriate and accessible, rapid information and to address the needs during disasters.3,23
  2. Partner with community-based organizations to conduct specific, targeted outreach to affected immigrant communities to engage in disaster preparedness and response planning in high risk disaster areas, determine how immigrants have fared in securing needed services and benefits, provide information about how to access services and benefits and how their immigration status affects their eligibility, and to ensure that all outreach conducted is culturally and linguistically appropriate and confidential; 
  3. Ensure that organizations and entities providing direct services to disaster survivors have the capacity to meet the language and cultural needs of immigrants and refugees by specifying in service contracts and through other means that such organizations and entities must: (a) assure effective communication with persons who are limited-English proficient through utilization of bilingual staff or interpreting services and by translating vital documents; (b) assure awareness of services by undertaking outreach to culturally and linguistically isolated communities and developing partnerships with ethnic organizations; (c) train staff on linguistic and cultural competency; and (d) take affirmative steps to recruit and hire qualified bilingual/bicultural staff; 
  4. Ensure that organizations and entities providing direct services to disaster survivors protect the confidentiality of immigrants whom they serve by specifying confidentiality requirements in service contracts and prohibiting information provided in the process of applying for disaster relief from being shared with the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  5. Ensure that all lawfully present immigrant disaster victims have immediate access to critical benefits such as Medicaid, State Children-s Health Insurance Program, Food Stamps, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families for at least one year or until such time as the area has substantially recovered from the disaster, and explicitly waive any public charge implications for the use of such assistance; 
  6. Ensure that all immigrants, regardless of status, have immediate access to basic humanitarian assistance needed in the immediate aftermath of the disaster and for at least 30 days thereafter (or longer, depending on the disaster) to assure essential food and potable water, basic shelter and housing, appropriate clothing, and essential medical services and sanitation, in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.53
  7. Support portable, comprehensive and total (100 percent) Federal Disaster Relief Medicaid and SCHIP coverage, as opposed to state-by-state Medicaid waivers that create confusion and disparate rules at state borders. Complete coverage will ensure that benefits travel with evacuees and that health/mental health providers with bilingual and bicultural capacity can receive service reimbursement. Also, provide states with additional resources for Food Stamps, housing and other programs needed by disaster victims; 
  8. Desist from conducting raids, sweeps and other immigration enforcement measures in disaster relief and reconstruction settings; 
  9. Reassure communities that information obtained in disaster-related services and worker protection efforts will not be used as tools for immigration enforcement; 
  10. Augment resources necessary to ensure that FEMA contractors and subcontractors are meeting their obligations towards workers by: enforcing health, safety, and wage and hour requirements; implementing living wage requirements for all workers involved in clean-up and re-building efforts in the Gulf region; and ensuring that workers who are made ill due to involvement in these efforts receive immediate and adequate health care services to protect them, their families, and communities; 
  11. Make changes necessary to ensure continuity of refugee services and to prevent disruption of the refugee resettlement program, including by: extending time for relocation assistance, refugee resettlement assistance (including Refugee Medical Assistance and Refugee Cash Assistance), and repayment of travel loans; expediting new placement for refugees who were slated to go to the region; providing assistance for the voluntary resettlement agencies affected by a disaster that are charged with assisting and tracking refugees; and providing culturally competent resources necessary for alternative placement of refugees who had been scheduled for resettlement in the affected areas; 
  12. Provide automatic extension of lawful status for persons on non-immigrant visas (other than tourist visas) for one year, or current duration or status, whichever is longer; provide regular work authorization for those with nonimmigrant visas that is not limited to any particular employer or type of employment; expedite issuance of temporary documents to replace lost work authorization credentials for lawfully permanent residents to allow those who have been made worse off to regain income and to address health care needs; ensure that widowed immigrant spouses face neither delay nor any other difficulties in lifting the conditions on their permanent residency or applying for naturalization in the absence of their deceased spouse; and require federal and state governments and employers to provide copies of work documents filed with them to individuals upon request; and 
  13. Maintain and expand federal and state commitment to adequate funding of public programs such as Medicaid, nutrition, housing, education, and other programs that are necessary to address the overwhelming health, economic, and social disparities that make low-income communities and communities of color, within which immigrants disproportionately reside, more vulnerable to the impact of disasters. 


  1. Statement of David M. Walker, U.S. Comptroller General, Re: GAO-s Preliminary Observations Regarding Preparedness and Response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Feb. 1, 2006; Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina. Failure of Initiative. Final Report. Feb. 15, 2006.
  2. Office of Inspector General. EPA-s Response to the World Trade Center Collapse: Challenges, Successes, and Areas for Improvement. Report No. 2003-P-00012. Aug. 21, 2003; National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States. Ch. 9 Heroism and Horror and Ch. 10.1 Immediate Response at Home. The 9/11 Commission Report. July 22, 2004.
  3. Fothergill, A., et al. Race, ethnicity and disasters in the United States: a review of the literature. Disasters. 1999; 2: 156-172.
  4. The term "immigrant" is used throughout this document in place of "foreign-born" individuals.
  5. International Human Rights Law Clinic, Boalt Hall, U.C. Berkeley, et al., Rebuilding after Katrina: a population-based study of labor and human rights in New Orleans, June 2006; Advancement Project, National Immigration Law Center, & New Orleans Worker Justice Coalition, And injustice for all: workers- lives in the reconstruction of New Orleans, July 2006. .
  6. The teenagers were living in a field under a tent and were getting bitten by mosquitoes. Five or six workers were taken to the hospital after complaining of respiratory problems and diarrhea. CBS News. Who-s Cleaning Up New Orleans? Oct. 8, 2005, posted at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/07/katrina/printable926540.shtml, last visited March 9, 2006.
  7. Immigrant Justice Project. Broken Levees, Broken Promises: New Orleans Migrant Workers, in Their Own Words. 2006.
  8. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA and federal partners warn of potential environmental health hazards when returning to homes and businesses after Hurricane Katrina. Undated, posted at http://www.epa.org/katrina/outreach/returning-general.pdf, last visited on June 15, 2006.
  9. U.S. Census Bureau. 2004 American Community Survey. Fact Sheet. Data Profile Highlights. 
  10. U.S. Census Bureau. 2004 American Community Survey. Selected Social Characteristics: 2004 (Another 2.4 percent are from Northern America and .6 percent from the Oceania region).
  11. U.S. Census Bureau, The Foreign-Born Population: 2000 (Dec. 2003).
  12. Migration Policy Institute. The Changing Face of the Gulf Coast: Immigration to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Migration Information Source. Jan. 1, 2006.
  13. U.S. Department of Labor. News Release: Labor force characteristics of foreign-born workers in 2004. May 12, 2005.
  14. Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Immigrants- Health Care Coverage and Access. August 2003.
  15. Simon, J. L. Cato Institute & National Immigration Forum. Summary of Important Facts About Immigration. Immigration: The Demographic and Economic Facts. Dec. 11. 1995.
  16. Simon, J.L. Cato Institute & National Immigration Forum. The Qualities of Immigrants. Immigration: The Demographic and Economic Facts. Dec. 11, 1995.
  17. Files, J. Report Describes Immigrants as Younger and More Diverse. NY Times. June 10, 2005.
  18. Immigration Policy Center. Economic Growth & Immigration: Bridging the Demographic Divide. Nov. 2005.
  19. Johnson-Elie, T. In Business, Immigrants Add Economic Sparkle. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Feb. 8, 2006 (citing to new research by Prof. Michael E. Porter, Harvard Business School, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City).
  20. Capps, A., et al. Urban Institute. The Health and Well-Being of Young Children of Immigrants. 2004.
  21. National Immigration Law Center. Features That Should Be Included in Hurricane Katrina Relief. September 19, 2005.
  22. National Immigration Law Center. Immigrants- Rights Update: Special Issue: Hurricane Disaster. Relief Measures Fall Short or Stall. Oct. 21, 2005. Vol. 19, Issue 6.
  23. Written Testimony for the Record by Bill Chandler, President/Director Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance and Guadalupe Gamboa, Program Officer and Immigration Attorney Oxfam America. Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina. December 6, 2005. http://www.oxfamamerica.org/newsandpublications/publications/ research_reports/research_paper.2005-12-06.4237647120. Last visited, June 16, 2006.
  24. Fernandez, LS, Byard D, Lin CC, Benson S, Barbera, JA. Frail Elderly as Disaster Victims: Emergency Management Strategies. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. April-June 2002; 17:67-74; FEMA & American Red Cross. Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs. Aug. 2004. See also Research & Training for Independent Living, Univ. Kansas. Nobody Left Behind: Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response for Persons with Mobility Impairments. June 19, 2003 (Because of the dearth of empirical data on the safe and efficient evacuation of persons with disabilities in disaster planning, the University of Kansas- Research and Training Center on Independent Living is in the process of investigating 30 counties in the United States that have recently experienced a natural or man-made disaster in order to assess the affect and needs of persons with mobility impairments in natural disasters).
  25. Testimony of Joel A. Shufro, Executive Director, New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Committee on Education and the Workforce, United States House of Representatives. May 26, 2005.
  26. National Immigration Law Center. Features That Should Be Included in Federal Hurricane Relief Legislation. Immigrants- Rights Update. Oct. 21, 2005. Vol. 19, Issue 6.
  27. Muñiz, Brenda. National Council of La Raza. In the Eye of the Storm: How the Government and Private Response to Hurricane Katrina Failed Latinos. Feb. 2006.
  28. Pub. L. 104-193, 110 Stat. 2105 (Aug. 22, 1996).
  29. Schlosberg C, Wong D. Immigrant access to health benefits: a resource manual. The Access Project, National Health Law Program. 2002.
  30. Wasem, ER. Hurricane Katrina-related immigration issues and legislation. Congressional Research Service Report for Congress. Sept. 19, 2005.
  31. "Public Charge" refers to whether the federal government deems an individual applying to obtain legal permanent residence is likely to need public benefits and this constitutes a "public charge."
  32. Some undocumented immigrants seeking relief have been placed in deportation proceedings. Lydersen, K. Some Immigrants Suffer Doubly After Hurricane Katrina. The New Standard. Sep. 28, 2005. 
  33. It has been reported that the Department of Homeland Security also has engaged in at least one high-profile raid at a site housing workers employed by FEMA contractors. Lovato, R. Gulf Coast Slaves: Halliburton and Its Subcontractors Hired Hundreds of Undocumented Latino Workers to Clean Up After Katrina , Only to Mistreat Them and Throw Them Out Without Pay. www.salon.com Nov. 15, 2005.
  34. After the 9/11 tragedy, James Zigler, Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, made a public statement encouraging immigrants to come forward to assist rescue and recovery efforts and assuring them that the INS would not seek to obtain immigration status information provided to local authorities in rescue and recovery efforts. Such a statement has not been forthcoming following the hurricane disasters. National Immigration Law Center. Immigrants- Rights Update: Special Issue: Hurricane Disaster. Relief Measures Fall Short or Stall. Oct. 21, 2005. Vol. 19, Issue 6.
  35. Choi, JK. Asian American Justice Center. Current Challenges Faced by Asian Americans and Hurricane Katrina: Highlights on Language Services and Physical and Mental Health Concerns. Sept. 28, 2005.
  36. Associated Press. Immigrants Do New Orleans Dirty Work. Oct. 7, 2005. 
  37. Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance found unethical and illegal treatment of workers by failing to pay workers and failing to provide food and shelter as promised by job recruiters. Lovato, R. Gulf Coast Slaves: Halliburton and Its Subcontractors Hired Hundreds of Undocumented Latino Workers to Clean Up After Katrina, Only to Mistreat Them and Throw Them Out Without Pay. Nov. 15, 2005. http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/11/15/halliburton_katrina/ index_np.html. Last visited March 10, 2006.
  38. Lydersen, K. Some Immigrants Suffer Doubly After Hurricane Katrina. The New Standard. Sep. 28, 2005. 
  39. Abraham, T. 9/11 Cleanup Zeroes in on Health Risks Facing Immigrant Workers. IRP News. June 1, 2002, http://www.churchworldservice.org/Immigration/archives/2002/06/9.html. Last visited March 10, 2006.
  40. Malievskaya, E., et al., Assessing the Health of Immigrant Workers Near Ground Zero: Preliminary Results of the World Trade Center Day Laborer Medical Monitoring Project. Am. J. Ind. Med. 2002; 42: 548-49.
  41. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) is quoted as stating that the prevailing wage in New Orleans is about $9 per hour, according to the Department of Labor. Edsall, TB. Bush Suspends Act in Areas Hit by Storm. Washington Post. Sept. 9, 2005.
  42. Ironically, the Department of Homeland Security promised it will suspend checking documentation of workers so as to not sanction employers. Lydersen, K. Some Immigrants Suffer Doubly After Hurricane Katrina. The New Standard. Sep. 28, 2005.
  43. White House to Reinstate Wage Rules. CNNMoney.com. Oct. 26, 2005, posted at http://money.cnn.com/2005/10/26/news/economy/davis_bacon/?cnn=yes, last visited March 13, 2006.
  44. Associated Press. Katrina Work to Get Davis-Bacon Wages. Washington Times. Oct. 27, 2005.
  45. Fischer, W. & Sard, B. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Housing Needs of Many Low-Income Evacuees Are Not Being Adequately Addressed. Feb. 27, 2006.
  46. Park, E. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. New Congressional Budget Office Estimates Indicate Millions of Low-Income Beneficiaries Would Be Harmed By Provisions in Budget Bill. Jan. 29, 2006.
  47. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Katrina and the Federal Budget. Source: http://www.cbpp.org/katrinaslideshow.htm. Last visited March 10, 2006.
  48. Kogan, R., et al. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Hidden Cuts in Domestic Appropriations: OMB Data Reveal Deep Funding Cuts After 2007. Feb. 9, 2006.
  49. Aron-Dine, A. & Friedman, J. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Skewed Benefits of Tax Cuts, 2007-2016. Feb. 23, 2006.
  50. Kogan, R. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. $300 Billion Deficits, As Far As the Eye Can See. July 8, 2003.
  51. APHA Policy 9508: Full Employment and Public Health; APHA Resolution 6811 (PP): Health and Poverty. APHA Public Policy Statements, 1948 to present, cumulative. Washington, D.C.: American Public Health Association, current volume.
  52. In September 2006, Congress took a step in the right direction by amending the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5195, et seq.) to better ensure that emergency and disaster-related information warnings and disaster relief services reach people who are limited in their English proficiency. Congress also now requires the Director of FEMA, working with state and local governments, to identify groups with limited English proficiency in order to ensure that information made available to affected individuals is provided in an understandable manner and to develop and maintain an information clearinghouse of model language assistance programs and best practices. Pub. L. 109-295, §§ 689a, 689e, 120 Stat. 1489, amending 42 U.S.C. §§ 5151 (a), 5195, et set. 
  53. United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. Feb. 11, 1998, posted at http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/7/b/principles.htm, last visited March 13, 2006. Although not legally binding, the Guiding Principles are widely viewed to provide the normative framework for addressing human rights violations in the context of internal displacement.

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