♦ CITIZENSHIP & IMMIGRATION SERVICES (USCIS)
“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 . . .”
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services press release dated Nov. 25, 2005, with links to a FAQ page and the relevant Federal Register notice.
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.”
♦ IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (ICE)
October 26, 2012.
August 27, 2012.
June 29, 2010.
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 www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/.
♦ FEMA (FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY)
Disaster Assistance: Frequently Asked Questions
♦ FINDING MISSING RELATIVES AND FRIENDS
... and links to other government & nongovernment resources; FirstGov.gov.
♦ FOOD & FOOD STAMPS
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Service (FNS)
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.”
This guidance applies to the Expanded Disaster Evacuee Policy (Sept. 14, 2005).
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)
♦ MEDICARE & MEDICAID
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.
♦ IMMIGRATION STATUS ISSUES & FEDERAL LEGISLATION
Congressional Research Service report, 9/19/05.