As mayors of cities with large Puerto Rican populations continue to advocate for federal assistance to help with the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans who are expected to temporarily seek shelter with friends and families in the US, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in Florida, allowing state agencies to take extraordinary measures to assist families that will soon be arriving in droves to cities like Orlando and Miami, both of which feature large Puerto Rican populations.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Scott announced that disaster relief centers will be set up at Orlando International Airport and in Miami to help those seeking refuge in Florida.
“Puerto Rico is absolutely devastated and so many families have lost everything,” Scott said in a released statement. “Our goal is to make sure that while [Puerto Rican] Governor [Ricardo] Rosselló is working to rebuild Puerto Rico, any families displaced by Maria that come to Florida are welcomed and offered every available resource from the state.”
The relief center at OIA, and two others at Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami, open Tuesday, according to a release from Scott’s office, just days after Puerto Rican airports reopened following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.
“These Disaster Relief Centers will help Puerto Ricans coming into Florida get matched with all the available state resources they may need and ensure that as families come into Florida, they are given the tools they need to work and provide their children with a great education,” Scott stated.