March 20, 2020

Congressman Neguse Urges Immediate and Comprehensive Action to Ensure Every American Abroad May Return Home Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington D.C.—Today Congressman Joe Neguse and 66 members of Congress, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to express deep concern over the lack of assistance being provided to American citizens stranded abroad as they try to return home to the United States amidst the rapid spread of COVID-19.

“We have heard from an alarming number of constituents whose family members have been unable to leave certain affected areas due to closed borders, movement restrictions, mandatory quarantines, and canceled flights,” Congressman Neguse writes in the letter. “They have contacted us from Peru, Morocco, the Philippines, Honduras, China, Cambodia, Chile, Guatemala, and several other countries looking for clear guidance as they navigate this difficult and frightening landscape to return home to their families. In some instances, constituents informed us that they have been unable to establish any level of communication with U.S. Embassy and Consular personnel.” 

Yesterday the State Department released a Global Level 4 Health Advisory that stated: “If you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States: [h]ave a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.” 

“We urge the State Department to take immediate and comprehensive action, including working with other federal agencies, foreign governments, and commercial airlines to ensure that every American abroad who wants to return home during this public health crisis can safely do so,” states the letter. 

Read Congressman Neguse’s full letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo here.