Media Coverage


Escaping a Wildfire and Fighting to Stay Here

When he first smelled smoke, Luis just thought a neighbor was having a barbecue. But the scent lingered, and the 25-year-old aspiring neuroscientist soon learned that a forest fire was barreling straight toward his home...

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Some immigrant fire victims forgo aid, fearing language on FEMA forms

Fire victim in silouhette
Members of the immigrant community displaced by the Wine Country fires are facing a new dilemma, fearing that information they provide on forms seeking federal disaster relief could be shared with immigration agents. And some say they will avoid applying altogether as a result. Their concerns have gained the attention of Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, who plans to send a letter Thursday to Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, seeking clarification on the intent of language used in FEMA applications. “We have heard from constitu...

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New Fund Expected to Help Undocumented Immigrants Affected By North Bay Wildfires

A new fund has been started by a coalition of immigrant service providers and advocates to provide direct assistance to undocumented residents affected by the North Bay wildfires. The campaign, ‘UndocuFund,’ was launched for residents in Sonoma County with a mission to provide direct support to undocumented children, families and communities affected by the fires. According to ‘UndocuFund,’ an estimated 38,500* undocumented immigrants live and work in Sonoma County, many of which were affected by the fires. Due to a lack of English speaking proficiency and ...

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New fund to help undocumented immigrants affected by Sonoma County fires

A coalition of immigrant service providers and advocates have launched the UndocuFund for fire relief in Sonoma County to provide direct assistance to undocumented Sonoma County residents who are victims of the Northern California fires.

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Undocumented immigrants face challenges after Wine Country fires

Javier, a service-industry worker who asked to be identified only by his first name because he is fearful of being targeted for deportation, cannot seek most traditional federal disaster aid to cope with the loss of his home and possessions. Meanwhile, some undocumented residents have lost out on work because of the fires, and cannot apply for benefits designed for this scenario.

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The New York Times: As Fires Move On, Wine Country Wonders Whether Immigrants Will, Too

Many of the foreign-born workers the region depends on are undocumented and do not qualify for most disaster aid. They may struggle to find affordable housing. ... “To function, we have to be able to retain the immigrant workers in the area,” said Cameron Mauritson, who grows grapes on 350 acres in Sonoma County for 60 wineries. Losing them, he said, would be “catastrophic to our economy.”

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