On September 10, Gov. Ron DeSantis held a press conference on the Bahama relief efforts and refused to call for visa waivers for Bahamians, citing that those without visas may not have a relative to stay with and there are not any shelters open at the moment. The governor also referred to evacuees seeking refuge as some sort of “special migration.”
Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, urged DeSantis to support visa waivers:
“Governor Ron DeSantis, Bahamian evacuees are not seeking ‘special migration,’ they are searching for refuge.
DeSantis says he is in frequent contact with the federal government on this. If so, why not urge the administration to grant visa waivers? When asked about this, why did Florida’s governor talk about a lack of open shelters? Now is not the time to turn away people in need, now is the time for action!”