things that matter

Over 1 Year Ago, Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria Killed Nearly 3,000 People (Instead Of The 64 People Originally Reported)

jlo / daddyyankee / Instagram

We’re coming up on almost a year since Category 5 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. The governor of Puerto Rico recently officially raised the death toll from 64 to 2,975. It took nearly a year for the island to get full power restored and a lot of people are far from recovered.

Just this week, some shocking news hit the airwaves.

The government of Puerto Rico has raised the death toll to almost 3,000 people.

CREDIT: @DavidBegnaud / Twitter

The number is representative of the people who died after the storm passed but still because of the storm. The entire island was out of power for months leaving many with necessary things to live. However, there is still a lot of disputes on the official death toll.

The official death toll by the federal government is 64.

CREDIT: @NYDailyNews / Twitter

CNN and the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo sued the Puerto Rican government to release the death records, and the judge forced the government’s hand.

Puerto Rico is nowhere near recovered.

CREDIT: @ajplus / Twitter

Just last week (10 months after the hurricane), power to most residents was finally restored. Highways haven’t been restored, the energy grid isn’t complete and the Puerto Rican government is requesting $139 billion in recovery funds. There is still a lot of work to do.

Meanwhile, Trump is funneling our tax money into a space military.

CREDIT: @Weinsteinlaw / Twitter

Puerto Rico still needs help recovering. Some would think that it is more important to help Puerto Rico rebuild than to create a space force.

People are screaming into the Twitter-verse.

CREDIT: @LynxSavage / Twitter

We don’t expect a reasonable response because there is no reason. It’s inexcusable to scapegoat people looking for safe harbor and call them aliens while funneling our money into a fake bid for space.

What about our problems here on Earth?

CREDIT: @tanzinavega / Twitter

Hurricane Maria is the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. The structural damage and the staggering death toll need to be addressed with all the available and necessary resources.

Thankfully, Senators are speaking out with this new information.

CREDIT: @SENWARREN / Twitter

When Trump visited Puerto Rico, he tossed paper towels out into the crowd. And when he tweeted about relief efforts, it was to say that they were unappreciated (rather than expected of the government).

People are telling Trump where he can shove his paper towels.

CREDIT: @GlennC1 / Twitter

Puerto Rican recovery efforts still matter, especially with another hurricane season upon us, making the island vulnerable to more natural disaster hits. Let’s be honest: Puerto Rico has not received proportional relief efforts.

There are some studies and people that say that closer to 5,000 people died because of Hurricane Maria.

CREDIT: @andreagonram / Twitter

Here a major reason that the U.S. federal government has been reluctant to provide meaningful aid:

  • Puerto Rico is effectively a colony, forced to pay taxes, but not receive aid in turn.

Latino celebrities have done more to help Puerto Rico than the U.S. government.

CREDIT: @ColoringApril @Jenniffer2012 / Twitter
Without any fanfare, Pitbull was one of the first celebrities to swiftly donate his private plane to assist in bringing in clean water, food, and medical supplies to the devastated island in the aftermath. He even brought cancer patients to the U.S. to receive necessary treatments.

Since then, Mr. Worldwide has said he sees President Trump’s “true colors.”

CREDIT: @pitbull / Twitter

In an interview with CNN, Pitbull said, “his true colors are real simple. It’s about money, it’s about power, and when you’re raised that way, it goes to show you what your true priorities are.”

Jennifer Lopez has been one of the biggest champions of Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @jlo / Instagram

Lopez posted an emotional video on her Instagram during a time when she still hadn’t heard back from her family back home. She urged her over 10 million video viewers to donate to the Puerto Rican’s First Lady’s cause: Unidos por Puerto Rico.

J.Lo and Marc Anthony joined forces to create their own initiative: Somos Una Voz.

CREDIT: @MarcAnthonyUSA / Twitter

The organization aims to bring together sports and entertainment celebrities to use their platforms and talents to raise money for recovery efforts.

Daddy Yankee is one of many other artists who joined the coalition.

CREDIT: @PopCrave / Twitter

The funds have gone to help rebuild homes lost during the storm through Habitat for Humanity, distributing food and water during the months after that PR went without, and so much more.

Puerto Rican icon Ricky Martin went in on the ground to help residents.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Twitter

He went to small beach towns like Loiza, which was without food, water or even a telephone line to communicate. Martin came in with trucks of water bought by the millions of dollars he raised for relief efforts.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has never stopped tweeting about his home island.

CREDIT: @lin_manuel / Instagram

Six months after the storm, eight months after the storm, just last week, Miranda refuses to let Puerto Rico slip from the news cycles while people are still suffering and injustice continues.

Luis Fonsi joined John Leguizamo in a PSA.

CREDIT: @FonsiDominicana / Twitter

While Fonsi tried to continue with his tour, he couldn’t without making a PSA to raise awareness. He even told TIME, “We’re all trying to be professional because, as they say, the show must go on. [But] it’s obvious we’re all heavy-hearted and concerned.”

Gina Rodriguez is a proud Puerto Rican and has used her platform for good.

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Twitter

Both to raise funds but also raise expectations and destroy stereotypes that people have about Puerto Ricans.

Literally, people don’t understand how more hasn’t been made of the issues.

CREDIT: @TomNamako / Twitter

The people of Puerto Rico are Americans. They deserve better. They deserve to be treated like all the other Americans who are facing a long recovery.

So what can you do to help?

CREDIT: @AJENews / Twitter

Keep donating and keep talking about Puerto Rico. The most important thing you can do is keep Puerto Rico in the mainstream consciousness so we can make some real change. Fight with your words and plans, not verbal attacks.


READ: J.Lo And A.Rod Share Moments From Their Trip To Puerto Rico And Announce A Donation Of 2 Million Dollars

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More Than 100 People Were Arrested In A Small Nebraska Town And The Community Is Caring For The Children

Things That Matter

More Than 100 People Were Arrested In A Small Nebraska Town And The Community Is Caring For The Children

O'Neill High School / Facebook

Family separations at the border have been halted because of the ruling by a federal judge. However, the story of family separations continues for mixed immigration status families living in the U.S. In fact, arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are on the rise. A series of early morning raids in a small town in Nebraska has left a community reeling while banding together to care for the children left behind as a result of the raids.

On August 8, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials detained more than 100 people from various factories and businesses in O’Neill Nebraska.

CREDIT: @TedGenoways / Twitter

ICE agents arrested 133 people in a town with a population of less than 4,000 people.

Last week’s raid was one of the largest ever conducted during ICE’s 15-year history. According to The Washington Post, the raid was the result of a year-long investigation.

“The job magnet in the United States is primarily what draws illegal aliens across our borders,” Tracy Cormier, special agent in charge of Homeland Security’s St. Paul, Minnesota, told The Washington Post. “This HSI-led criminal investigation has shown that these targeted businesses were knowingly hiring illegal workers to unlawfully line their own pockets by cheating the workers, cheating the taxpayers, and cheating their business competitors.”

It was still summer break so members of the community had to figure out how to help all of the children left behind.

CREDIT: @OWHNews / Twitter

The school year officially started on August 16, one week after the raids, and the schools were still closed.

The school system responded by opening the schools to provide families and children shelter.

CREDIT: @SouthOLacey / Twitter

“We just wanted to make sure all of our students knew that school was a safe place, that school loved them regardless of their (immigration) status,” O’Neill Public Schools Superintendent Amy Shane told The Lincoln Journal Star.

Around 12 to 15 kids showed up to the school to seek shelter. However, school officials say that roughly 50 to 100 children may have had a family member taken away.

CREDIT: @MarshallProj / Twitter

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that 17 percent of O’Neill Public Schools students are Latino, and “more than 7 percent were English Language Learners last year.”

At least three kids were separated from both parents, according to the school.

CREDIT: @Haleaziz / Twitter

Immigration officials have been responsible for forcibly orphaning children at the border and in the U.S. through raids and mass arrests.

According to ICE, the company owners were trying to exploit Latino workers.

“The ACLU condemns this ongoing campaign of misery that targets immigrants, disrupts local businesses and separates families,” Rose Godinez, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, said in a written statement according to the Associated Press.

READ: As Immigration Officers Trick People To Sign Deportation Orders, These Detainees Are Peacefully Fighting Back

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