The exodus of Puerto Ricans has severely strained the available resources to the limit in places like Orlando, Miami, and Florida. The migrants have chosen these places because many of their family members stay there and, in such trying times, people seek the company of their loved ones. The administration is finding it difficult to cope with these arrivals.

The sudden migration from Puerto Rico was a result of the devastation after Hurricane Maria struck the island and destroyed the infrastructure. The hurricane uprooted electric poles, and people were forced to survive without electricity. The number of people who were compelled to leave the island and arrive in the mainland runs into the thousands as compared to other similar disasters like the exodus from New Orleans to Houston after Hurricane Katrina.

Magnitude of the problem

The New York Times is reporting that thousands of people from Puerto Rico have already arrived in Florida after losing their homes that were devastated by Hurricane Maria. Many more are expected to add to the numbers, as they arrive by any available mode of transport.

The exodus has thrown the administration into a quandary and has taken a toll on every aspect of society. The population of Puerto Ricans in Orlando is believed to have nearly doubled since 2000, and the additions would mean stretching its resources to the limit. The impact would be felt on not only education, housing, healthcare, and employment but, even in politics because they are American citizens and their opinion cannot be ignored.

They must be rehabilitated

Hurricane Maria was a natural disaster, but it destroyed the very fabric of life in Puerto Rico. People lost their homes and their belongings and, with no roof over their heads, they headed for shelter on the mainland. Obviously, the exodus was an unexpected situation, and the administration has to evolve strategies of how best to cater to the needs of the additional numbers.

The authorities must identify areas that need to be addressed by priority. An example is schools which will require additional bilingual teachers since a majority of new students would be Spanish-speaking.

Similarly for living accommodations in Orlando. This would be an area of concern because many of the new arrivals had been put up in hotels, and they may have to make way for tourists who will get preference.

Of course, some Puerto Rican community leaders have suggested that the newcomers could head north to New York or Philadelphia where the situation might be better because of lesser numbers of new arrivals.

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