On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will release its 2022 statutory enforcement report, Civil Rights and Protections During the Federal Response to Hurricanes Harvey and María. The report examines the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster response and compliance with federal civil rights laws and policies in Texas and Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Harvey and María.
As part of the examination, the Commission held three briefings, Civil Rights and Protections in the Federal Response to Hurricanes María and Harvey on June 25, 2021 in Washington D.C.; Civil Rights Implications of Disaster Relief: Hurricane Harvey in Texas on October 21, 2021; and Civil Rights Implications of Disaster Relief: Hurricane María in Puerto Rico on December 10, 2021.
To inform this report, the Commission received testimony from federal officials such as FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery, Inspectors General from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the President of the Emergency Management Association of Texas, the Texas General Land Office, the Secretary of State of Puerto Rico, and the former Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Commission also heard from advocacy leaders, legal experts, and researchers in the field, and met with impacted community groups, persons, and stakeholders.
The report will be available in full on the Commission’s website at https://www.usccr.gov/reports/annual-statutory-enforcement on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at 10 am Eastern time. For more information on each briefing and to view written testimony visit: https://www.usccr.gov/meetings/public-briefings.