Issue #34: A Judge Blocks the Denial of SSI Payments for Puerto Ricans, PR Faces Cuts in Food Aid and more...
The total to be paid will be $32.3 billion over 40 years, plus interest. (Abner Dennis and Kevin Connor / American Prospect)
→ Judge Blocks Discrimination Against Puerto Ricans, Says Federal Government Is Engaging in “Citizenship Apartheid”
“Allowing a United States citizen in Puerto Rico that is poor and disabled to be denied SSI disability payments creates an impermissible second rate citizenship akin to that premised on race and amounts to Congress switching off the Constitution.” – U.S. District Judge Gustavo Gelpí (Mark Joseph Stern / Slate)
The Nutrition Assistance Program, which is expected to run out of money in Puerto Rico at the end of February, could leave more than 1.4 million people with deep cuts in food assistance or without assistance at all. (Nicole Acevedo / NBC News)
A number of the more than 40,000 landslides caused by Hurricane Maria were “two orders of magnitude greater than those reported from previous hurricanes,” according to a new study. (Geologist Society of America)
To address the issue of housing, “officials need to find ways to secure the disbursement of critical federal housing funds, spend them appropriately to effectively rebuild the island’s infrastructure and tackle issues such as informal or illegal construction and the increasing number of vacant properties,” Nicole Acevedo writes for NBC News.
There’s a backlog of at least 130 corpses handled by the Forensic Sciences Institute, but that doesn’t include those bodies that have not been identified by families. (Camilo Montoya-Galvez / CBS News)
The FBI raided a San Juan bank last week because federal officials suspect someone may have used the bank to launder money from an entity connected to Venezuela. (Dave Boyer / Washington Times)