Trump administration won't grant temporary protected status to Bahamians

Hurricane survivors on a ferry destined for Florida on Sunday were ordered to disembark if they did not have a USA visa. Hundreds remain missing, likely buried under rubble on Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands by the strongest hurricane ever to hit the archipelago nation.

According to WSVN, the residents were told that all they needed to get to Port Everglades in Florida was their Bahamian passports and a document from police verifying that they had no criminal record. "If your life is in jeopardy and you're in the Bahamas ... you're going to be allowed to come to the United States, whether you have travel documents or not".

Prakash said Sunrise and allies are planning to rally outside Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offices in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to demand that the Trump administration "stop turning away people fleeing destruction".

"We would have definitely worked with this transportation company or any other transportation company to.facilitate this process", Silva said, explaining how they would have processed those individuals if they made it to the USA port. "CBP is not denying or discouraging evacuation efforts and we empathize with the plight of the Bahamian people". "We have to be very careful", Trump told reporters Monday afternoon, "Everybody needs totally proper documentation".

"I don't want to allow people who weren't' supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States, including some very bad people", the US leader asserted.

Under existing US policy, Bahamians can bypass the visa process by providing a passport and proof of no criminal record and going through a pre-screening conducted by CBP in Freeport and Nassau.

"Right now, there are so many people out there that they can't find".

Trump administration won't grant temporary protected status to Bahamians

The government has estimated that up to 10,000 people from the Abaco islands alone, including Treasure Cay, will need food, water and temporary housing as officials consider setting up tent or container cities while they clear the country's ravaged northern region of debris so people can eventually return.

"What I will say is history has shown us that there are bad people that do take advantage of that", Morgan said.

On Saturday, USAID announced $1 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help people affected in the Bahamas. "We're just walking up and down asking people if they know where we can stay".

Search and rescue personnel who arrived with cadaver dogs on the Abaco Islands brought body bags and coolers to store human remains, said Joy Jibrilu, director-general of the country's tourism and aviation ministry.

It's a reflexive posture for Trump: when presented with a crisis situation in which struggling people need to seek refuge on American soil, his immediate instinct is to say no. "But instead of welcoming them with open arms and offering support, we're sending them back to an island with little shelter, no food, and no access to basic necessities".

Authorities have said the current death toll may rise as search and rescue operations begin and they start sifting through the wreckage. She adds that, "The true depth of the devastation in Abaco and Grand Bahama (islands) is still unfolding".

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