Georgia DDS Retains Government Documents from Puerto Rico, Detains Applicants Presenting the Documents and Fails to Issue Them Driver’s Licenses
Buenos días honorables miembros del Comité y su Presidenta Keisha Aniya McGuire. Me dirijo a ustedes hoy para llamar atención al colapso total de cualquier apariencia de democracia en Puerto Rico que pudiera todavía existir después de 500 años de colonialismo.
LatinoJustice PRLDEF, The Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Treasury under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) to demand information concerning the appointments, vetting and conflicts of interest concerning members of the federal fiscal control board in Puerto Rico. The lawsuit comes as a result of the Department of Treasury refusing to respond to the FOIA request for nearly two and a half years. The board was created by federal statute known as PROMESA (Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act) in 2016.
Tallahassee, FL – Today, Judge Mark Walker, the Chief U.S. District Judge in Northern Florida, issued a court order granting a preliminary injunction requiring Florida’s Secretary of State and the Supervisors of Elections of 32 Florida counties to take further steps to comply with section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act. The order requires the Secretary of State to ensure that those 32 counties provide official ballots in both Spanish and English, Spanish language election assistance, and Spanish translations of other voting materials for elections beginning with the 2020 presidential primary election.
More than a year later, though, that aid remains caught in legal red tape. And Rivera still scrambles to place buckets in strategic spots to catch the water that leaks through the blue tarp holding together what’s left of her roof.
Yesterday, Puerto Rico announced an unprecedented 52 weeks of federally-funded Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for workers and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs due to Hurricanes Maria and Irma. This extension was authorized by a federal law and doubled the 26 weeks of benefits previously available for workers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who were left jobless after the devastation caused by the hurricanes. The National Employment Law Project (NELP) estimates that over 10,000 Puerto Ricans could qualify for lump-sum payments potentially totaling nearly $30 million. The individual payments will typically range from around $2,000 to $3,000 for those who receive the maximum weeks of additional assistance dating back to September 2017.
Recently the Puerto Rican Department of Labor announced the expansion of Disaster Unemployment Assistance and we partnered with National Employment Law Project (NELP) and Ayuda Legal Huracan Maria to help share this information.
By Denise Collazo and Juan Cartagena
LatinoJustice has been engaged in a lengthy legal battle with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) over its failure to adequately address the needs of Hurricane Maria victims on a range of issues. Today, Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF, issued the following statement on the impending termination of Temporary Shelter Assistance and subsequent eviction of the hundreds of families.