Slow recovery for immigrants left homeless from September flooding #COflood

Evans Colorado September 2013 via
Evans Colorado September 2013 via

From KUNC (Kirk Siegler):

A woman named Claudia, who doesn’t want to use her last name because of her immigration status, is sitting on a couch in the lobby of a shabby hotel in Greeley, about an hour’s drive northeast of Denver.

She’s come because a friend has been staying here. Both women lost their homes when the floodwaters wiped out the mobile home park in the nearby town of Evans.

“Where can we go?” Claudia says in Spanish. “We lost everything in the floods — all of our clothes, everything, from our 10 years living here.”

Her husband is trying to keep his construction job. The family has been told that they qualify for FEMA assistance because her youngest daughter was born in the U.S. and is a citizen. But the agency is still processing their application, and she doesn’t know if it’s been approved.

The rental market here was already tight due to an oil boom. The women say landlords are preying on them, asking them questions like: “Have you received FEMA money? How much did you receive? What is your immigration status?” And the county hasn’t returned her calls for help finding an apartment.

These are common stories being told right now across this flooded region, where thousands of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador have flocked to jobs in the fields and the dairy and meatpacking industries.

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