Immigrant Eligibility for Disaster Assistance

Immigrant Eligibility for Disaster Assistance

JUNE 2007

The information in this fact sheet primarily applies to families with members who are not U.S. citizens. It also applies to agencies that help immigrant families affected by a disaster.

The fact sheet addresses these questions:

  • Which disaster services are “unrestricted” — available to all disaster victims no matter what their immigration status is?
  • Which disaster services are “restricted” — available only to U.S. citizens and immigrants who are “qualified aliens”?
  • What if some family members are U.S. citizens or “qualified aliens” and others are not?
  • What if an immigrant has lost identification or other documents and has trouble proving lawful status or identity?
  • What if a person does not speak English well and needs help applying for disaster services?
  • Will accepting disaster services prevent immigrants from being able to get a “green card” or U.S. citizenship?
  • Must nonprofit agencies deny disaster services to undocumented immigrants?

The fact sheet also provides tips for undocumented parents applying for restricted services on behalf of U.S. citizen children, and it provides definitions of key terms.

It was created as a collaborative project by the American Red Cross, National Council of La Raza, and the National Immigration Law Center.

To download the fact sheet, click on the PDF icon, above.