In February we brought you the story of three victims of the World Trade Center disaster Carmen, Félix and Chino. They had lost loved ones and livelihoods, but they were also undocumented foreign workers. We have a personal, and general update about their situation.
In May THE NEW YORK TIMES reported on the situation of several survivors who were represented by the aid groups portrayed in NOW's story "The Invisible Ones." Several, like Félix, had returned to Puebla, Mexico. But also like Félix, they had not been able to obtain a death certificate for their lost relatives and were thus prohibited from getting aid from the state of Mexico.
In March of 2002, the U.S. federal government increased the average compensation for victims of 9/11. Initially the average compensation was $1.65 million. Now the average award is $1.85 million, a $200,000 raise. To receive federal compensation, victims must agree not to sue the airlines or other entities impacted by September 11th.
Other changes in the compensation legislation include a time extension for compensation to those who were injured within 72 hours of the terrorist attack. The previous bill extended compensation to those injured within 12 hours of the attack. The time limit has been entirely removed for 9/11 rescue workers. Finally, additional protections will be provided to illegal immigrant families who met the compensation criteria and wish to come forward.
SOURCES: THE NEW YORK TIMES, "For Illegal Workers' Kin, No Paper Trail and Less 9/11 Aid," 6 May, 2002BBCNews; "US Boosts Terror Attack Payouts," BBCNews, 8 March 2002; Shannon McCaffrey, "Victims Fund Final Regulations to Increase Aid to Some Families," CAPE COD TIMES, 7 March 2002.