The devastation caused by Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017, left millions of people without power and without access to lifesaving medicines and other necessities. Today, many homes and businesses remain off the grid and without the basic items needed to maintain a minimum level of comfort and safety. Many individuals and families are leaving their homes in Puerto Rico behind and moving to Florida to start over.
No Barriers to Immigration
Residents of Puerto Rico are already U.S. citizens. As such, they are legally entitled to travel to and remain in the U.S. According to the State Emergency Response Team, at least 212,000 people have already taken advantage of this option and have made the move from Puerto Rico to Florida. Many of these individuals have settled in the central corridor of the state and are currently receiving housing subsidies and assistance in finding employment within the state. Since a large percentage of immigrants from Puerto Rico fled their homes with few or no resources, these individuals and families are extremely vulnerable and require significant help to get back on their feet financially.
Added Stress on Public Services
The addition of more than 200,000 people to the state could put a serious strain on housing agencies and those organizations tasked with helping low-income families with medical expenses, child care and employment opportunities. More funding will likely be required to ensure that these agencies are not overwhelmed by increased demand for their services as immigrants continue to move from Puerto Rico to the mainland U.S.
Political Aspects of Immigration from Puerto Rico
Florida has traditionally been a swing state in the U.S. political scene. The addition of large numbers of Puerto Rican immigrants to the state, however, could turn it solidly blue in the near future. Puerto Ricans are far more likely to vote for the Democratic side of the ticket and are legally entitled to vote as U.S. citizens. Their addition to the voter rolls could spell real trouble for Republicans in the near future.
For residents of Florida, retaining the services of a qualified and experienced Orlando immigration lawyer can be a good first step toward clarifying any issues with citizenship or immigration status. At Pozo Goldstein, we have the experience and expertise necessary to provide you and your family with assertive and effective representation for all your immigration issues. Call our office today at 407-956-4359 to schedule a free initial consultation with our team of dedicated Orlando immigration lawyers. We look forward to the chance to help you pursue the American dream.