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Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today requested that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green provide an assessment of all humanitarian assistance readily available for the Bahamas under current accounts, and whether additional funds will be needed for disaster relief.
 
Yesterday, Rubio and Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) urged President Donald Trump to waive or suspend certain visa requirements for Bahamian citizens who have relatives residing in the United States. This will allow citizens of the Bahamas, who have low visa overstay rates, to stay with family in the United States while the country rebuilds in the wake of Hurricane Dorian’s unprecedented destruction.
 
Rubio is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.
 
The full text of the letter is below.
 
Dear Secretary Pompeo and Administrator Green:
 
As you are well aware, the Bahamas have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm that has destroyed much of the northern islands and left many residents stranded. The South Florida community is deeply concerned for Bahamian citizens impacted and is ready to assist in relief efforts. Realizing the Bahamian Government will require the assistance of the United States, I strongly urge you to ensure all possible resources are made available to secure the safety and protection of Bahamian citizens and to assist in post-recovery relief efforts.  
 
It is my understanding that the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance representatives are on the ground meeting with Bahamian officials to assess the damage. In order to effectively assist with efforts, I respectfully request the Department of State to provide an assessment of all humanitarian assistance readily available for the Bahamas under current accounts, and of whether you anticipate additional funds will be needed for disaster relief. 
 
The United States remains the most generous country in the world, and our communities repeatedly come together to support those in need. This reflects the spirit of the American people. As the Bahamas begin the difficult process of recovering and rebuilding, the United States should be there to assist our neighbors. 
 
I look forward to your response, and stand ready to assist with additional support.
                                                                               
Sincerely,