Trump Refers To Bahamian Hurricane Refugees As ‘Very Bad Gang Members’ And ‘Drug Dealers’ While Denying Them Temporary Protected Status

Bahamian residents look on as aid workers deliver fuel at the airport in Treasure Cay on Abaco island, Bahamas on September 11, 2019, in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump Refers To Bahamian Hurricane Refugees As ‘Very Bad Gang Members’ And ‘Drug Dealers’ While Denying Them Temporary Protected Status

Bahamian evacuees fleeing the disaster were ordered off a U.S. bound ferry.

Published September 11, 2019

Written by Angela Wilson

The Trump Administration will not grant temporary protected status to people of the Bahamas displaced by Hurricane Dorian. 

Temporary protected status, also known as TPS, would have allowed Bahamians to work and live in the U.S. until deemed safe for them to return home.

TPS, a form of humanitarian relief, normally applies to people who would face extreme hardship if forced to return to homelands destroyed by natural disasters or war, according to CNN

An unnamed White House official admitted to CBS News that although the Bahamaians are facing a humanitarian crisis, the U.S. will not offer them TPS. 

“The Bahamians impacted by Hurricane Dorian are facing a humanitarian crisis, and the American government, international partners and private organizations continue to support them with aid and services,” the official said. “At this time we do not plan to invoke Temporary Protected Status for those currently in the United States.”

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported more than 100 Bahamaians seeking refuge and safety were kicked off a ferry headed to South Florida at Freeport Harbour. 

President Donald Trump spoke out about the incident, requiring all evacuees to have “proper documentation” before entering the United States. 

“The Bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren’t supposed to be there," Trump said on Sept. 9. "I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers."

Twitter was quick to call out Trump’s racist comments:

Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm at the time, had left more than 70,000 homeless. After the hurricane rested over the island for nearly two days, moving north only at one mile per hour, 40 people have been confirmed dead while thousands are still missing. Thousands of evacuees continue to seek shelter, food, water and medical assistance in the U.S. 

TPS is currently granted to over 300,000 people living in the U.S. from 10 countries, including victims of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.

The Trump administration sought to suspend TPS for Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan and Nepal, amongst others, but those original orders have all been held up in court.



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