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Information from Government Agencies



USCIS Reminds Individuals Affected by Hurricane Sandy of Temporary Immigration Relief Measures (USCIS webpage)

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds customers affected by Hurricane Sandy of certain U.S. immigration benefits or relief that may be available to them.
USCIS understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual’s ability to maintain lawful immigration status or obtain certain other immigration benefits. Eligible individuals may request or apply for temporary relief measures, including . . .”

USCIS Announces Interim Relief for Foreign Students Adversely Impacted by Hurricane Katrina (PDF)

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services press release dated Nov. 25, 2005, with links to a FAQ page and the relevant Federal Register notice.

Remedial Measures Made Necessary by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (PDF)

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services interoffice memo dated 10/5/05. Excerpt: “In general, USCIS employees should take a generous approach to addressing issues brought about by the hurricanes and should use whatever proper means are available to them to remedy hurricane-related immigration situations. . . . This guidance covers individuals or entities who can establish that they resided, worked, or operated their professional business or other entity in an affected area of Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama at the time of Hurricane Katrina (on or about August 29, 2005), or an affected area of Texas or Louisiana at the time of Hurricane Rita (on or about September 23, 2005), regardless of where those individuals or entities may be currently located.”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Operations after Hurricane Katrina FAQ (PDF)

USCIS Interoffice Memo on Fee Waivers for Hurricane Katrina Victims (PDF)


Statement by Immigration & Customs Enforcement and Customs & Border Protection as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy Approached the East Coast

October 26, 2012.

Letter from Immigration & Customs Enforcement and Customs & Border Protection as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac Approached Florida and the Gulf Coast

August 27, 2012.

ICE Statement of Priorities as Hurricane Alex Approached South Texas

June 29, 2010.


Notice Regarding I-9 Documentation Requirements for Hiring Hurricane Victims (PDF)

Press release from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.

Workers who are denied employment for lack of documents that satisfy the I-9 requirements may contact the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) through the employee hotline at 800-255-7688 or visit


Disaster Assistance: Frequently Asked Questions

Apply for FEMA Aid (by phone or online)

Help After a Disaster
Applicant's Guide to the Individuals & Households Program (PDF)


Find Family and Friends: Government Sources

... and links to other government & nongovernment resources;


U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Service (FNS)

Expanded Disaster Evacuee Policy (PDF)

Excerpt: “FNS is setting forth expanded criteria to enable State agencies to better serve people who have evacuated Hurricane Katrina disaster areas and are applying for food stamp benefits in areas where the Disaster Food Stamp Program is not operating. Applications may be accepted under these policies through October 15, 2005.”

Questions & Answers on Evacuees (PDF)

This guidance applies to the Expanded Disaster Evacuee Policy (Sept. 14, 2005).

FNS Disaster Assistance webpage

The National Enhanced Policy for Evacuees (PDF)

Excerpt: “The Food Stamp Program is implementing a new, one-month policy for certifying evacuees who have left Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi because of Hurricane Katrina. This policy applies in all states, the District of Columbia, and the territories only for September, 2005. The policy provides for a one-month maximum food stamp benefit for any evacuee household. Eligibility is based simply on evacuee status. States with unusual needs based on their volume of evacuees may work with USDA for additional relief.”


U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Disaster Recovery Guidance by Multifamily Housing After a Presidentially-Declared Disaster (PDF)


HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt declared a public health emergency for affected areas, allowing it to waive certain Medicaid, SCHIP, Medicare, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements. The public health emergency also allows HHS to make grants and enter into contracts more expeditiously. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is currently working to ensure that Medicaid, SCHIP, and Medicare will accommodate the emergency health care needs of beneficiaries and medical providers in states devastated by the hurricane. CMS also will ease the programs’ normal operating procedures to speed provision of health care services, waiving some documentation requirements. Federal Medicaid officials are also working with state Medicaid agencies to coordinate resolution of interstate payment agreements for recipients served outside their home states. See APHSA memo and CMS Medicaid fact sheet below for details.


Hurricane Katrina-Related Immigration Issues and Legislation (PDF)

Congressional Research Service report, 9/19/05.