Skip to Content
Home | news | Press Releases

Press Releases

Dingell, McGovern Reintroduce Leave No Americans Behind Act of 2023

Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-06) and Jim McGovern (MA-02) this week reintroduced the Leave No Americans Behind Act of 2023 to end the practice of charging fees from Americans evacuating foreign countries in times of crisis.
“Right now, we have a responsibility to get Americans out of harm’s way, no questions asked, and no strings attached,” said Dingell. “These fees place a real financial burden on people during an already traumatic time, while providing only a nominal amount of revenue. The government shouldn’t be making a quick buck at the expense of Americans in distress during times of unrest and instability around the world.”
“America’s top priority ought to be ensuring the safety of our citizens at home and abroad,” said McGovern. “The evacuation of Americans during a crisis should never come with strings attached. I’m proud to work with Representative Dingell to make sure that Americans in danger can focus on getting home safely—not whether they can afford to pay for an unexpected emergency evacuation.”
Current State Department policy requires American citizens who are being evacuated from a foreign country to sign a promissory note obligating them to repay to the US government the equivalent price of a commercial flight from the area from which they are being evacuated. These evacuation fees typically cost hundreds of dollars, and the federal government will put a hold on an evacuee’s passport until this amount is repaid.
Dingell and McGovern first introduced the Leave No Americans Behind Act in 2018. Concerns about this practice resurface every time there is a major evacuation of US citizens from a foreign country, for example during the 2017 hurricane season or the 2006 Lebanon war. These fees provide a minimal amount of revenue to the federal government in a typical year, with less than $1 million collected from FY2015 – FY2018.
View the full text of the bill here

Back to top