MIAMI (CBSMiami) – State Rep. Shevrin Jones knows all too well the pain of having family in the Bahamas left displaced by Hurricane Dorian.
It’s that pain that led the state representative on Tuesday evening to call for visa requirements to be waived for those victimized by the massive storm.
“I urge the Trump administration as well as Senators Rubio and Scott to waive U.S. visa requirements for Bahamians seeking refuge post-Dorian,” Jones stated in a press release. “I have spoken with Rep. Frederica Wilson who agrees swift action must be taken before more lives are lost. It is inhumane to do nothing while thousands of our fellow human beings are left to languish without drinking water or shelter.”
Jones sat down with CBS4 anchors Jim Berry and Rudabeh Shahbazi to discuss his pain and his plan to help those left in the wake of Dorian’s destruction.
“The Bahamas will need a lot of support – not just from Florida, but the entire United States,” he said. “As you all know, Florida is the gateway to the Bahamas. And Miami itself has a very large contingency of Bahamians descendants, and they will need our help and support.”
His plea was heard by the U.S. senators, who both got in contact with him after he released his statement.
“The good thing is that this entire ordeal has allowed for a bipartisan effort from both sides to come together,” Jones explained. “I’ve spoken with Sen. Rubio and I’ve spoken with Sen. Scott, and so right now my ask would be to them to see if we could get some visas waived to get Bahamians over here to their families.”
While Jones didn’t expand on the senators’ responses, he drove home the importance of needing to reconnect families trapped in the Bahamas with those on the mainland.
“They’re homeless now, but they have family here, and so we want to figure if we can get that waived to get those families here,” Jones said. “I think that would not only go a long way, it would show the deep ties that we have here in Florida with the Bahamian families over there.”
To help the victims of Hurricane Dorian, visit CBSMiami.com/DorianRelief.