Crespo and Hunter Call for Funding for Communities Impacted by Exodus from Puerto Rico

January 3, 2018

Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
Capitol Building
Albany, New York 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

We write to request that funding be available for the displaced people of Puerto Rico who have migrated to New York. Throughout New York State, resources are being utilized to support families who have lost everything to Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Much as New York continues to support refugees who can no longer count on federal aid, we must stand up to assist our fellow citizens from Puerto Rico. To date, thousands of Puerto Ricans have migrated to New York, many of them settling Upstate due to the lower cost of living. Through 2019, it is expected that over 30,000 Puerto Ricans will move to New York. In order to support the resources needed for them to start their new lives, we request an appropriation of $3 million for each of the next two fiscal years.

Families arriving in New York have already found some stability in the great resources we provide, but more will be needed as additional families arrive and require assistance to assimilate to their new communities. These new state residents will continue to need everything from housing, health insurance, social services, employment search assistance, basic clothing, and winter coats. In addition, thousands of children arriving from Puerto Rico will place demands on school districts because they do not know any English. Bilingual education and English language learning programs in impacted schools will need additional resources as well.

Cities throughout New York expect significant population increases. Rochester has already seen over 1800 new individuals settle within the city, including over 450 school-age children. Other metro areas are experiencing similar numbers. Syracuse and Utica are seen increases of hurricane victims that went originally to Pennsylvania but are heading to New York in search of more accommodating communities.

Much in the way we established funds for refugee resettlement, it is imperative that we commit to an allocation for the displaced families of Puerto Rico. New York has already been of great assistance for those moving to New York and those who chose to remain. People from our state went in mass to rebuild infrastructure, distribute resources, and provide emergency services. We must continue in our commitment and see things through until these families find stability. The allocation requested above will ensure that our newest New Yorkers’ needs are met while ensuring a better transition to living in this great state.

Sincerely,

Assemblywoman Pamela J. Hunter
128th Assembly District

Assemblyman Marcos Crespo
85th Assembly District