This message from the NASW Puerto Rico Chapter was sent to Mark Nichols, NASW manager of chapter services, in a series of cellphone text messages during the afternoon of Oct. 3. It has been slightly edited. We wish to share it with members and the wider social work community. NASW will convey this message to members of Congress who are social workers and soon give information on how we can assist social workers in Puerto Rico:
Thank you for your support. Our main concern is there are no
communications. There are no cellular phones that work well. All the island is without power -- there is no water and little produce.
President Trump came today and
just said we are costing too much money for the United States government. The suicide
rate is too high triggered by the suffering from lack of basic needs. During this
period about 12 persons committed suicide (and there are likely more that are not confirmed).
We are citizens of the United States of America, we defend the principles of democracy, we fought in
World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Our people went to Vietnam
without any preparation. Most of those who were drafted were only 17 years old and had no
understanding of the English language. We fight very bravely with no support. Even
the Congress recognized the 65th Infantry Regiment as an important part of (American) history.
The man who planned to rescue the Americans who were hostages in Iran by the Carter
administration, he was a Puerto Rican.
Actually, we need support from the
federal government, not just 4,000 soldiers around the island. We need to
repair the electricity. We need water and food. There are people in the
shelters without hope. Simply, there is no place to go.
Mr. Nichols let the
social workers know about our situation. Let the newspapers describe all the
justice we need. I trust our nation and I strongly believe that a call to the
Congress will help make the effort to help not a political issue, but a social
justice issue. As I explained, the communications (are very bad). Thank you very