Newswire: Rep. Waters secures State Dept action for 3000 Americans stranded in Morocco

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D.CA)

LOS ANGELES – Within 24 hours of demanding immediate assistance on behalf of her constituent and 3000 Americans who were stranded in Morocco, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, received notice that the U.S. State Department had heeded her calls and chartered special emergency flights for all U.S. citizens in Morocco.
The Moroccan government had previously announced the suspension of all international flights to and from its airports as a protective measure against the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The special return flights, which were chartered by the State Department through American Airlines partner British Airways, began transporting Americans home from Morocco on Friday, March 20.
“I am elated that my constituent and all Americans who were stranded in Morocco will now be able to safely return home to the United States,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters. “The lack of response and distress that these U.S. citizens endured is absolutely unthinkable. I am pleased that the State Department has decided to uphold its responsibility to protect American citizens who are stranded abroad as we confront the coronavirus pandemic, and I commend American Airlines for their assistance with this matter. I urge my colleagues in Congress to continue to monitor reports of Americans who may be stranded in other countries and ensure that the Trump administration is providing assistance and safe passage home to all Americans who are stranded abroad.”
On Tuesday, March 17, Congresswoman Waters received a call from her constituent requesting help with reaching the State Department and U.S. Embassy in Morocco, which had ignored requests for assistance from Americans who were stranded in Morocco. Congresswoman Waters immediately directed her staff to investigate the matter and further learned that approximately 3000 Americans were facing the same plight in Morocco.
On Wednesday, March 18, Congresswoman Waters sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding an immediate explanation as to how and when the State Department, as well as United States Ambassador to Morocco David T. Fischer, would implement a plan to repatriate stranded Americans in Morocco, including but not limited to State Department chartered flights leaving the region. She also made numerous phone calls directly to the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Morocco requesting answers and immediate assistance for her constituent.
On Thursday, March 19, the State Department and the U.S. Mission to Morocco announced the arrangement of American Airlines (British Airways) flights for U.S. citizens and permanent residents beginning on Friday, March 20 from Marrakech International Airport in Morocco.
On Friday, March 20, Congresswoman Waters also penned a “Dear Colleague” letter to House Members alerting them of the plight facing Americans who were stranded in Morocco, Peru, Guatemala, and other countries, and urged them to continue to work with the State Department to ensure the safe return of all Americans who are stranded abroad.

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