The American National Red Cross, as a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, adheres to the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Specifically, the principal of Impartiality states, “It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavors to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.”
During a crisis, human beings need help to stay safe and sustain life, no matter what their nationality, cultural background or citizenship status. When an emergency happens, the Red Cross is going to deliver help to whomever needs it and as part of its humanitarian mission, the American Red Cross will feed, shelter, and provide emotional support and other assistance without regard to race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or citizenship status. The Red Cross is a charity, not a government agency and individuals who have disaster caused needs do not need to be American citizens to access Red Cross services.
Red Cross workers will not question individuals about their citizenship status, nor will they request birth certificates, immigration papers, passports, social security cards or similar documents that could be interpreted as being used to identify the nationality or immigration status of persons seeking Red Cross assistance. The Red Cross will request documents to identify an individual and to verify they reside in the disaster impacted area when providing financial assistance. If federal, state or local authorities make a request to enter a shelter for the purpose of looking for undocumented shelter residents, the Red Cross will not grant them permission unless provided with a subpoena or court order. The Red Cross may disclose information about shelter residents at the request of law enforcement if the disclosure is necessary to avert a threat or protect the health or safety of shelter occupants, another person or the community.
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