PNS Daily Newscast - March 22, 2019 

President Trump rattles the Middle East, saying the U.S. will recognize Israel’s authority over the Golan Heights. Also on our Friday rundown: A judge blocks laws limiting the power of the new Wisconsin governor. Plus, momentum builds across party lines to abolish the death penalty.

Daily Newscasts

Study: Immigrants Bear Brunt of Hurricane Harvey Hardships

64 percent of immigrants report significant financial losses as opposed to 39 percent of U.S.-born residents. (Platt/GettyImages)
64 percent of immigrants report significant financial losses as opposed to 39 percent of U.S.-born residents. (Platt/GettyImages)
March 21, 2018

HOUSTON — A new study finds that immigrants were almost twice as likely as non-immigrants to suffer unemployment and economic loss from Hurricane Harvey.

Six months after the massive storm ravaged the Texas coast, an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Episcopal Health Foundation examined differences in how the storm affected immigrants and their U.S.-born neighbors. Shao-Chee Sim, vice president of applied research at the Episcopal Health Foundation, said immigrants were at a distinct disadvantage in recovering from the storm.

"Immigrants don't have as much social network support as compared to native-born populations," Sim said. "And also among those whose houses or properties were damaged, they were also less likely to apply for government assistance."

The analysis showed 64 percent of immigrants reported significant financial losses as opposed to 39 percent of U.S. born residents. More than two-thirds of immigrants also said they had few or no relatives or neighbors nearby who they could rely on for help or support.

Also, immigrants - who often lack health insurance or other sources of care - were more likely than citizens to say they needed additional help getting medical care. Sim said many of the immigrants surveyed did not seek assistance out of concern over their legal status.

"Close to half of them whose houses were damaged say that they worry if they tried to get help, that they would draw attention to either their own or family members' immigration status or issues,” he said.

Sim said immigrants mainly want just to repair their homes and get on with their lives.

"I guess the major takeaway from this analysis is that, even though immigrant Texans face more challenges and more vulnerabilities in terms of the recovery effort, they also basically wanted the same things as anyone else in the affected region,” he said.

Hurricane Harvey, which struck the Texas coast in late August, ranks as one of the most costly storms in U.S. history - causing 107 deaths and about $125 billion in damage.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - TX