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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (43rd District of California)

September 9, 2019

Press Release

Rep. Waters Calls for Expedited Entry & TPS for Bahamians

WASHINGTON – Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43), Co-chair of the Congressional Caribbean Caucus, issued a statement calling for an expedited entry process for Bahamians seeking to enter into the United States and the extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation to Bahamians currently in the United States in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, which has killed more than 40 Bahamians, left 70,000 others without homes, and destroyed the Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands:

“The people of the Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands are in a desperate situation. Hurricane Dorian has created a humanitarian crisis the likes of which has never before faced the Bahamas. I am grateful for the efforts of the USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), which has been instrumental in search and rescue efforts as well as in providing emergency food assistance to Bahamians. I also thank the U.S. Coast Guard, which has already rescued more than 300 people and conducted life-saving air operations in the Bahamas.

“As the Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services and Co-chair of the Congressional Caribbean Caucus, I strongly support an expedited U.S. visa application or waiver process for Bahamians who are seeking to enter the United States in order to join with relatives, friends, and others who will host and be of assistance to them in the aftermath of this horrific storm. In addition, I am extremely supportive of the extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for all Bahamians in the United States who cannot safely return to the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. 

“While we have learned of the disturbing reports that dozens of Bahamians were kicked off of a ferry that was headed to the United States, displaced Bahamians must not be denied the opportunity to come to the United States because our visa and immigration processes are not being expedited in an emergency manner. The people of the Bahamas must be treated with respect, and all applications for visas must be processed efficiently, expeditiously, and in a manner that guarantees Bahamians the safety and security they deserve during this difficult time.”