Thousands fleeing the humanitarian crisis left by Hurricane Maria may impact schools, jobs and politics.
The crisis in Puerto Rico could send tens of thousands of people to Florida, accelerating an already steady exodus from the economically depressed island and triggering wide-ranging effects on schools, housing and jobs.
“This is a humanitarian crisis and Florida needs to brace for the influx,” said Dennis Freytes, a political activist in the Orlando area. “Many of the people coming are the most vulnerable. I’m desperately trying to get my 92-year-old mother out of there and haven’t been able to even with my connections.”
The wave might also carry political ramifications.
“Florida is a big swing state and Central Florida is the epicenter of that,” Freytes said. “This could be a very big deal. There are going to be voter registration drives and both parties are going to be after them. They already are.”