Connecticut residents push for more help for Puerto Rico

HARTFORD --  Connecticut's Puerto Rican population is pleading for help.

A rally Wednesday afternoon in Downtown Hartford was one of 13 nationwide, calling on Congress to send more aid to Puerto Rico, faster.

They also want Puerto Rico's $72 billion debt to be erased.

"They need more support," said Ana Maria Rivera-Forastieri of the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance. "They need more money. They need more people down there. They need more people to be bringing these supplies to where they're supposed to be going."

Jose Melara, who represents 10,000 members of the United Autoworkers Union in Puerto Rico, says he received a desperate call from a transportation manager.

"He was begging me to please help find some way that they can get water to the workers," said Melara.

Melara said many workers do not have gas to get to work, or basic tools to do their jobs. Without support, they say supplies are stuck.

"It's been reported to us that there's 8,500 containers in the ocean in ships trying to get into the island," said Melara.

People are stuck as well.

"People in Texas and people in Florida had a place to run to," said Hartford State Rep. Angel Arce. "Puerto Rico is surrounded by water."

Many are angry at the Trump Administration.

"It's embarrassing and insulting, the response we've received so far from the federal government," said Jason Ortiz, President of the Connecticut Puerto Rican Agenda.

They want the president and others to remember that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens who need their country's support.

Ortiz suggests making a monetary donation if you want to help. You can donate to Connecticut's Puerto Rican Hurricane Relief Network here.