NEW YORK – Mayor de Blasio doesn’t seem to be on the same page as public advocates and their plan to help Puerto Ricans fleeing to the city.
New York City Public Advocate, Letitia James, has proposed cash payments through an emergency plan that would help through a grant program as well as giving free metro cards for six months.
James has also proposed English classes to help adults and schooling for children as well as medical help for people arriving at the airport.
It could be a costly goal, so Mayor de Blasio is warning them to think twice before coming to the city unless they have family or friends to take them in.
More than three weeks after Hurricane Maria pounded Puerto Rico, the fight for survival is still as desperate as ever, with most of the island is still without power and safe drinking water.
In New York, the question is how to handle a possible influx of Puerto Ricans seeking refuge.
Public Advocate Letitia James announced a plan to help with situations including housing, education, employment, and medical emergencies.
However, Mayor de Blasio, who says Puerto Ricans are welcome, is also cautioning families that the city is lacking space for them.
“I don’t want to encourage people to come here if they don’t have some family to turn to,” he said, “we can’t do what the government does. We have a lot of challenges serving people here.”
The federal government’s response to the humanitarian crisis was under fire as President Trump sent out a series of tweets threatening that FEMA won’t stay on the island ‘forever,’ which prompted a fiery response from the mayor of San Juan.
“Rather than being commander-in-chief, he’s like a ‘hater-in-chief.’ He continues to tweet his hate all over the place,” said San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz.
White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, tried to clarify what Trump meant at a press conference.
“There will be a period in which we hope sooner rather than later that the U.S. military and FEMA, generally speaking, can withdraw because then the government and the people of Puerto Rico are recovering sufficiently to start the process of rebuilding,” he said.
Congress just passed $36.5 billion relief package that will help with disaster relief funds and can also help Puerto Rico’s major financial crisis.
The Senate is expected to take up that measure next week.