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Puerto Rican Governor Seeks Aid In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The governor of Puerto Rico is in Philadelphia to seek aid for hurricane evacuees here, and to mobilize political forces.

Standing before a room full of clergy at Esperanza College of Eastern University, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello says he'll be meeting with Governor Wolf to enlist his help in having Pennsylvania declared a host state.

That would make the Keystone State eligible for federal housing aid for hurricane evacuees here. Rossello said Congress hesitated to fully help his island after the devastation of Maria, so political forces here need to mobilize.

"To demonstrate that we are organized and that we will fight for those who will fight for the people of Puerto Rico and that we will oppose those that oppose Puerto Rico," Rossello said.

More than a thousand Puerto Rican evacuees in Pennsylvania, many in the Philadelphia area, are weeks away from becoming homeless.

Next month FEMA will stop funding its transitional shelter assistance program, even though the island is still far from recovered.

"They suffered enough in Puerto Rico. To come here and be homeless it is not right," said Ana Montanez as she protested outside Esperanza College.

The protesters waited outside to ask the governor to advocate for his people, Puerto Rican evacuees, who are now in Pennsylvania and are struggling to survive here.

When the governor arrived, just after 9 a.m., he did not walk past the protest but rather he stopped, listened and made the group a commitment."

"My commitment is by today, in the next 24 hours I will verbally express my concern with these issues and I will have a letter drafter toward FEMA and the local government," said Gov. Rossello.

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