People from the Bahamas who are already in the United States will not be given special visas to let them stay until their prosperous island nation recovers from the storm, says a CNN report.
CNN reported the White House’s decision to deny “Temporary Protected Status” to Bahamians who are living legally or illegally in the United States:
Administration officials ultimately decided that TPS was not an option for the Bahamians because of the statutory obstacles in place, the time it would take to provide relief and the number of those who would be eligible, according to the official. TPS applies to people who would face extreme hardship if forced to return to homelands devastated by armed conflict or natural disasters, therefore the protections are limited to people already in the United States. Bahamians who haven’t already arrived to the US would likely not benefit from the protections.
The U.S. government is already providing much aid to the flood-damaged chain of islands. The small nation is one of the more prosperous Carribean nations, with a per-capita income of $35,000, slightly above the per-capita income of Italy.
Prior administrations have granted — and then repeatedly extended — TPS status to people from many countries which were hit by earthquakes, floods, or wars.
But President Donald Trump has ended TPS status for many of those national groups, including roughly 300,000 people from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras.
However, Trump’s decision to end TPS for those countries has been blocked by pro-migration judges, pending further appeals by the administration.
Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism about the TPS program, partly because prior TPS announcements gave long-term visas to many illegal migrants who were in the United States when their homeland was damaged.
“We have to be very careful,” Trump said September 9. “Everybody needs totally proper documentation because, look, the Bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren’t supposed to be there,” he told reporters at an impromptu press conference.
U.S. officials, however, will continue to let people from the Bahamas enter the United States for business and other reasons, on generous terms, CNN reported:
[Mark] Morgan, the acting CBP chief, told CNN Tuesday that people trying to enter the US after fleeing the Bahamas will be reviewed on a “case-by-case” basis.
“Those individuals who do make it to the United States that don’t have travel documents … we’re going to apply discretion on a case-by-case basis. We’re not going to deny somebody solely because they don’t have travel documents,” Morgan told CNN’s John Berman on New Day.
“I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to go to the United States, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers,” Trump said. “So we are going to be very, very strong on that.”
Migration to the US border drops by 22 percent in August, down to 64,600 people. Central Americans are calculating that reforms by Trump, plus crackdowns by Mexico & C-Am. governments, reduce the economic cost/benefit ratio. https://t.co/EATMEJiURt
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) September 9, 2019