In a letter to United States President Donald Trump, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott yesterday asked the president to waive visa requirements for affected Bahamians who have family in the U.S. they could live with as they begin to rebuild their lives.
“As Bahamians are just now beginning to confront the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, which stalled over parts of the country for nearly two days as a major Category 5 hurricane, we write to respectfully ask that your administration waive, or otherwise suspend, certain visa requirements for affected citizens of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas who have relatives in the United States with whom they can reside as they begin the process of rebuilding their lives and their country,” they said.
Hurricane Dorian left ruin in its wake on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, which suffered direct hits from the powerful and slow-moving storm. With sustained winds of 185 miles per hour (mph) and gusts over 220 mph, it was the strongest hurricane on record to impact the northern Bahamas, and the second strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic.
“As Americans and others throughout our hemisphere and across the globe work to provide aid and assistance for the many needs of the Bahamian people at this time, perhaps one of the most basic yet meaningful steps our government can take immediately is to ensure that those who have lost everything, including family members in some instances, are provided the opportunity for shelter and reunification with family in the United States,” said the senators.
“Florida enjoys historically deep ties with The Bahamas and, by proximity, many Floridians have family in The Bahamas.”
They added, “Floridians are eager to help their family and friends in The Bahamas.”