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Trump madness continues as Bahamians seek refuge

By Cheryl Daniel, editor-in-chief
On September 27, 2019

NEW ORLEANS (September 26, 2019) – A catastrophic hurricane that left at least 54 and counting dead, 70,000 homeless and 400,000 powerless was not enough to get President Trump’s sympathy: A policy is in place requiring would-be refugees to have documentation and plan to stay for a “short duration.”

Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 hurricane, left the people of the Bahamas devastated. The two major islands, Abaco and the Grand Bahamas, was shredded to pieces. People of the Bahamas are looking to the United States as a place of refuge, and more than 1,500 victims have fled to the United States.

While “temporary protected status,” or TPS, grants legal status to migrants from countries affected by war or natural disaster and allows them to live and work in the United States, for a set period of time, the president has rejected that option for the islanders.

And, once again – as he has spoken about Hispanics – he implied that these mostly brown and black people seeking help after the disaster are criminals.

All of the 1,500 victims had to provide proper documentation to enter the country. The proper documentation includes:

  • Possession of a valid, unexpired Bahamian passport and a police certificate issued within the past six months.
  • No criminal record or any legal ineligibility or inadmissibility as defined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Declaration of the intent to travel for business or pleasure, where the intention is to only stay for a short duration

This procedure would be great if Dorian had not destroyed thousands of peoples’ home and belongings. It makes it almost impossible for people to seek the help they need.

News of the thousands of homeless in the devastation apparently had no effect on Trump’s heart. He denied TPS, supposedly, on the advice of acting Customs and Border Protection Chief Mark Morgan that it would be an appropriate gesture.

“I think it would be appropriate to have that circumstance. History shows we've done that before,” said Morgan even while acknowledging it would take a “lengthy time” for residents of the Bahamas to fully renovate and get back on their feet.

Despite professionals notifying Trump of the nightmares that are taking place in the Bahamas, he is more concerned that the victims from the Bahamas are gang members or criminals.

“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,” Trump said.

It begs the question: Does our current president have a heart? Is he truly “striving to give every child of every background and every race, religion, color and creed the ability to reach the beautiful American dream” as he stated at the 2019 National HBCU week conference?

The madness must stop. Trump should stop turning his back on people in need and face the facts. Many are still missing in the aftermath of the tragedy, the death toll is still rising and these people need help.

A college student from the Grand Bahamas, Kristoff Strachan, called the situation “pretty dire” in a phone interview with MSNBC. “It’s just a lot of people trying to get out,” she said.

The lack of support from the Trump administration has boosted the nationwide initiative to help victims of Hurricane Dorian. National Organizations such as the Salvation Army, Americares, Mercy Corps and the National Association of the Bahamas are all hands-on deck to help the suffering people.

Let’s do what we can not only to do help the unfortunate affected by Dorian – remember that it could just as easily have been us – and then let’s register and vote to get the madness out of the White House.

 

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