LULAC Statement on Senator Sanders's Legislation to Rebuild Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

November 28, 2017

Washington, DC – Today Senator Sanders and several other progressive Senators introduced legislation to comprehensively address the crisis in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The legislation aims to help communities rebuild in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The storms resulted in billions of dollars in property damage and left communities vulnerable, without access to clean drinking water, electricity, or health care services.

The proposed legislation bases a progressive comprehensive recovery for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virginia Islands on the following principles:

  • Address the immediate humanitarian crisis
  • Provide disaster recovery assistance without putting the territories further in debt
  • Reject privatization efforts
  • Rebuild smart – Use disaster funding to lay the groundwork for a renewable electric grid
  • Strengthen farms and nutrition
  • Address Medicaid and Medicare parity
  • Rebuild and improve the VA hospital and clinics
  • Improve public schools, colleges, and childcare facilities
  • Invest in infrastructure and spur economic development
  • Environmental cleanup
  • Debt relief
In response, Roger C. Rocha Jr., LULAC National President, issued the following statement:

“Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are suffering a humanitarian crisis and more needs to be done to help them rebuild after such devastating natural disasters. Local communities have spent the last two months struggling to piece their lives back together. It is time for Congress to act and put in motion a comprehensive solution that will provide immediate emergency needs, while also empowering local communities to both rebuild and thrive. The lives of millions are at stake and we cannot fail them."


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

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