Notably, many of the victims were white — did that spoil the narrative for the press, which loves the idea of a diverse state filled with non-white foreigners who bring their cuisines and cultures while not assimilating to American society?
Perhaps that’s the reason for highlighting illegal alien sob stories, as was done by the New York Times on October 17 and also on Saturday by the San Francisco Chronicle which gave unlawful foreigners front-page billing:
Interestingly, the illegal alien Mexican arrested a few days ago for arson in Sonoma County hasn’t gotten any front page attention that I have seen.
The Chron story focused on illegal alien Senor Javier, who gave no first name — all the better to avoid ICE deporters. Before the fire, he had done well in this country, having a rented house, a job and two DACA sons further mooching jobs and/or education from America. He could of course return to Honduras, where it’s likely the disastrous hurricane damage he fled two decades ago has been repaired, but that possibility is not mentioned.
The article notes that illegals aren’t eligible for federal aid. But I imagine that Gov. Jerry Brown will somehow figure out some freebies for his beloved lawbreaker base in the sanctuary state.
Undocumented immigrants face challenges after Wine Country fires,
San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 2017
Javier wanted to see it with his own eyes, to confirm that the neighborhood where he’d raised his two sons, Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park, was no longer there.
Nearly two decades ago, he fled Honduras for America after a hurricane destroyed his business and livelihood. He built a life with his wife and children in the middle-class neighborhood that was rather ordinary — except, perhaps, for his lack of U.S. citizenship.
But as the 51-year-old man turned down the road leading to his rented home on Oct. 9, he wasn’t prepared for the sight of rows of flattened houses, still smoldering a day after the deadly Tubbs Fire swept through. He got out of the car and held his wife and 20-year-old son.
Moving forward from the Wine Country fires will be challenging for thousands of people who lost loves ones, homes, schools, workplaces or other things. But undocumented immigrants like Javier face special hardships due to their status, advocates said.
Javier, a service-industry worker who asked to be identified only by his first name because he is fearful of being targeted for deportation, cannot seek most traditional federal disaster aid to cope with the loss of his home and possessions. Meanwhile, some undocumented residents have lost out on work because of the fires, and cannot apply for benefits designed for this scenario.
Javier knew all this when he returned to the ruins of his home, but tried to muster an inspirational message. After all, he’d restarted his life once before, albeit as a much younger man. [. . .]
In disasters like this month’s wildfires, the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides money to citizens and certain immigrants to, among other things, obtain short-term lodging, replace essential property and rent a new home. The money — which can in some cases amount to tens of thousands of dollars — is for items not covered by individual insurance.
Undocumented residents who have a U.S. citizen in their household are granted an exception and can apply for aid. But that doesn’t apply to Javier, whose two adult children have protection under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Trump is phasing out.