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Know Your Rights
Source: New America Media
Subject: Health Justice & Access
Type: Media Coverage

Eight Years Later, Undocumented Ground Zero Laborers At Greater Risk

NEW YORK– Eight years after the September 11 Twin Tower attacks, laborers who worked at ground zero have worsening health problems, with a greater impact on undocumented immigrant laborers, reports El Diario/La Prensa. According to a New York State study, a total of 817 people who worked on rescue and cleanup at the site and the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, have died.

The news report stated that undocumented laborers are at greater risk of chronic health problems because they are excluded from federally funded programs to treat ground zero workers. Jose Loja, who cleaned pipes and now suffers from gastritis, sinusitis, back pain and PTSD, said excluding the undocumented is “unfair because we all did the same job. We’re all suffering from the same diseases.”

Make the Road New York, a community advocacy and policy organization, is supporting Latino ground zero laborers to seek better treatment for 9/11 laborers and visas for affected undocumented laborers.