Councilmember Announces Plan To Help Displaced Puerto Ricans Find Help In NYC

Rich Lamb
January 23, 2020 - 8:11 am
Ritchie Torres

City Council / Flickr


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Bronx Councilmember Ritchie Torres wants to establish a physical location where Puerto Ricans fleeing the series of calamities that have occurred on the island nation can find help in New York City.

On Wednesday, he announced new legislation to help displaced Puerto Ricans "coordinate humaitatian relief" by granting them access city services and benefits.

The office would help those in need provide assistance in obtaining vital documents from Puerto Rico such as birth certificates, marriage certifictes or death certificates.

He noted that those Puerto Ricans affected by the island's catastrophes need one place to go in New York City to get back on their feet.

Torres adds that Puerto Rico is struggling to recover from the aftershocks of a fiscal crisis, Hurricanes Maria and Irma, as well as a series of earthquakes.

"From 2010 to 2017, Puerto Rico's population has fallen by 12 percent," Torres says. "Many displaced Puerto Ricans have sought refuge here in New York City."

The office, Torres announced, will be called "PRNYC", adding "if you are a displaced Puerto Rican, you have nowhere to go, there is no office specifically dedicated to Puerto Ricans here in New York City, and so i'm introducing legislation that would establish an office to fill a void."

According to Torres, the office represents a legal expression of our solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico.