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Illegals get reprieve from Katrina

The United States has agreed with a request from Mexico to not prosecute illegal aliens affected by Hurricane Katrina who ask U.S. officials for help, says President Vicente Fox.

“We have agreed with the government of the United States that those who were not documented at the time will not be subject to any pressure or persecution whatsoever,” Fox said yesterday.

“Mexico estimates that about 40,000 Mexicans were living in Louisiana, the majority in New Orleans, which was devastated by the hurricane.

“”In this way, they can receive help from the American authorities, they can approach the authorities to point out what they’ve lost and, above all, to ask for support.”

“Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said that Mexico would set up temporary consulates near the disaster area to help Mexicans and Central Americans alike affected by the storm. Officials did not have reports of any Mexican deaths, but 87 citizens were reported missing, Derbez said.

“He added that Mexico also was ready to send immediate assistance to the United States, but was just waiting for the go-ahead from officials there. The aid will include Navy ships, food and medicine, amphibious vehicles and health and rescue personnel, the foreign secretary said.

Those wishing to contribute to hurricane relief efforts can donate to the Salvation Army online or by calling 1-800-725-2769. Red Cross donations can be made
online or by calling 1-800-435-7669.

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