Since Hurricane Harvey touched down in Houston as a category 4 storm at the end of August, many families have lost their homes, their belongings or even their lives. While many Americans have rallied support in money and supplies, undocumented people and their families are presented with an even greater disadvantage.
As a social media contributor for ABC News in Houston, Antonio Arellano is using his platform to help who he calls "the most vulnerable" in this terrible situation by starting a YouCaring crowdfund campaign to help undocumented families.
"Undocumented immigrants may be eligible for Crisis Counseling or Disaster Legal Services and other short-term emergency aid from FEMA," Arellano wrote on the campaign page's site. "However without a social security number they don't qualify for cash assistance."
Now, they've lost #DACA
— ANTONIO ARELLANO (@AntonioArellano) September 6, 2017
He said he hopes to give the money to families who lost their cars or homes during the hurricane. Plus a larger portion will be given to "those affected most severely."
At least once a day, he posts a link to the fundraising campaign in English and in Spanish, tagging celebrities to shine a light on the issue. Volunteers in Houston told PBS NewsHour that they get calls from immigrant families afraid to go to shelters with available space because of the current tensions surrounding undocumented families. According to PBS, 1.5 million undocumented immigrants live in Texas, and they are fearful of immigration raids and deportations. The already horrifying circumstances are magnified for these families.
Arellano's campaign goal is $100,000 with over $42,000 already funded. Families of two or more can request help by emailing UndocRelief@gmail.com. It's so important that these communities aren't forgotten in the wake of a disaster.