All Who Need Help Should Seek Help Regardless Of Immigration Status

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Release date: 
November 29, 2001
Release Number: 
3169-09

New Jersey -- Everyone who was directly affected by the World Trade Center attack is urged to seek disaster assistance regardless of their citizenship, recovery officials said.

"We urge people to call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for help, even if they think they may not be qualified for assistance," said Lt. Edward M. O'Neil, State Coordinating Officer, New Jersey State Police Office of Emergency Management. "Just because someone may not be eligible for all state or federal programs, it doesn't mean that there isn't help available. If there's a way to help someone, we will make every effort possible to locate the appropriate agency for them."

Numerous voluntary agencies, including the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the New Jersey Victims Crime Compensation Board do not have a citizenship requirement for individuals seeking disaster assistance. To contact any of these agencies through the Family Assistance Center located at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, call the toll free number 1-866-NJ-CRISIS between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Saturday.

Those individuals directly affected by the September 11th attack should call to register for federal and state assistance regardless of their immigration status. Disaster recovery experts will determine their eligibility on a case-by-case basis. The FEMA toll free registration line is 1-800-462-9029. Those who are hearing and speech impaired should call TTY, 1-800-462-7585. Lines are open between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, Monday through Saturday.

"The State of New Jersey and FEMA are not going to share information about an individual's legal status with any other agency," said Peter Martinasco, Federal Coordinating Officer. "We want to assure that everyone who was affected by the September 11th attack feels comfortable while asking for assistance."

To receive certain types of federal and state disaster assistance, applicants must be citizens or qualified aliens. An individual who is not a qualified alien but whose child is a citizen, a non-citizen national or a qualified alien, may apply for assistance on behalf of a child. All applicants, including qualified aliens who apply for state and federal assistance, must sign declarations of their immigration status.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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