Oregon Gov. Brown: ‘Absolutely Unacceptable’ FEMA Does Not Provide Assistance to Undocumented

Governor Kate Brown (D-OR) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that it was “absolutely unacceptable” that FEMA did not provide aid or assistance to undocumented families.

Partial transcript as follows:

BROWN: I think the concern, ED, is that this is a harbinger of things to come. We literally have had four emergency declarations in this state at the federal level since April of 2020. In Labor Day last year, we had horrific wildfires. They were historic. We lost over a million acres, over 4,000 homes and nine lives. And what is really, really clear, that just like we saw during the pandemic, throughout these emergency events are communities of color, our low income families are disproportionately impacted. And we have to center the voices of Black and Brown and indigenous people at the forefront of our work as we do emergency preparedness.

ED O’KEEFE: I know this past week you met with the president virtually along with other Western governors, including Governor Cox, who we just spoke with to discuss the drought and heat waves in these changing climate patterns. What does Washington, what does the federal government need to be doing to help these Western states prepare for this new normal?

BROWN: That’s a really good question, and it was a question the president asked. In short, we need resources and we need boots on the ground. For example, we need financial resources to be able to purchase critical, essential equipment like aircraft to help us fight fire. We need to make sure that we have adequate boots on the ground. Senator Wyden has done a good job fighting for the state of Oregon to get us financial resources to be able to train our National Guardsmen and women ahead of time so they can support our firefighting efforts. But it also means that agencies like FEMA who do not aid our undocumented families, we need to make sure that that happens. So, for example, of the families that lost homes in southern Oregon last Labor Day fire, several hundred of them were undocumented. FEMA does not provide aid or assistance to these families. It is absolutely unacceptable. These families are so much a part of our communities. They’re the heart and soul of our culture and they are the backbone of our economy. They deserve the assistance and they need it.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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