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LULAC Stands in Solidarity with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and Puerto Rico

September 30, 2017

Washington, DC – In the wake of Hurricane Maria, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz became the voice of the 3.4 million Americans living on the island. She told the world about the devastation left behind by the storm and requested federal relief efforts to get aid on the ground as quickly as possible and help save the lives.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to accuse Mayor Cruz of “poor leadership” after she criticized the government’s relief efforts and pleaded for the Administration to “save us from dying.” Trump went as far as to suggest that residents of the island are not doing enough to help themselves.

In response, LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, issued the following statement:

“While President Trump has been distracted injecting himself in fights with the NFL, millions of Americans have been left fighting for their lives without the help of the Administration. His comments today about the Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, are irresponsible and divisive.

Unlike the President, Mayor Cruz has not allowed anything or anyone to distract from her one and only goal: saving lives.

Trump could stand to learn about courage and leadership from Mayor Cruz, who since day one has been working fearlessly and relentlessly on the ground to save the lives of people on the island. Even with limited support from the federal government, she does all she can to help get aid to those who need it most, such as children, the elderly, and those on dialysis.

The Administration has failed Americans in Puerto Rico. We are the most powerful country in the world, yet the Administration failed to show it can help its own people. Instead of providing aid, it created obstacles. It took a grueling eight days for the Administration to waive the Jones Act, which was delaying disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Maria.

Instead of facing this crisis head-on, the President has hid behind 140 characters on Twitter and will not visit the island until Tuesday, almost two weeks after the devastating Hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico. This is not leadership. Americans deserve more leaders like Mayor Cruz, who understand that this is a humanitarian and that are not afraid of the hard work needed on the ground to get people help as fast as possible.

LULAC and our thousands of members across the country, applaud Mayor Cruz for her tremendous leadership and courage. Her efforts have helped saved countless lives. Mayor Cruz is a true American hero. LULAC will continue to work diligently to provide Puerto Rico with food, water and all necessary emergency supplies.

We urge President Trump and his Administration to increase its federal aid efforts and response time. Puerto Ricans are Americans and we must do all we can to save them.”

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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.

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