The Department of Homeland Security this week encouraged illegal immigrants to apply for emergency federal aid if they were affected by the historic flood in Louisiana.

DHS said in a Monday announcement that immigration enforcement agencies "are not conducting enforcement operations" in the areas affected by the flood.

The department stressed that illegal immigrants aren't eligible for direct cash aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or disaster unemployment assistance. However, it said a household with "varying citizenship status" can apply for that aid, since "only one member needs to be a U.S. citizen."

It also encouraged "undocumented" parents or guardians to apply for aid for their children if they are U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals or qualified aliens. DHS said the government would not take any enforcement action against those parents.

"Although the adult will be expected to sign a declaration and release in the child's name, no information will be gathered on the person signing for the child," DHS said.

"All individuals, regardless of citizenship status, affected by a major disaster may be eligible for other non-monetary, in-kind emergency disaster relief programs," it added. "These include search and rescue, medical care, shelter, food and water as well as disaster legal services, disaster case management and crisis counseling."

DHS offered its advice in English and Spanish, and said translations in Chinese, French and Vietnamese would be available soon.