Bahamian Survivors Of Hurricane Dorian Revictimized By Trump’s Racism

Trump’s move to deny temporary protected status to Hurricane Dorian survivors is the latest in a series of cruel moves targeting people of color.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing travelers fleeing the Bahamas following the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian - Port of Palm Beach, Fla., Sept. 7 2019. (CBP photo by Jaime Rodriguez Sr.)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing travelers fleeing the Bahamas following the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian – Port of Palm Beach, Fla., Sept. 7 2019. (CBP photo by Jaime Rodriguez Sr.)

Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas earlier this month, killing at least 50 people and leaving 1,300 people missing. At least 70,000 people have been left homeless after the Category 5 storm swept over the island. After natural disasters of this magnitude, those affected have historically been able to find refuge in the United States of America. Not anymore.

This week, President Trump’s xenophobia has turned its ire towards the survivors of Hurricane Dorian. On Monday, Trump warned, with no evidence, of “very bad people” and gang members who would try and enter the U.S. from the Bahamas. Trump’s remarks came as Bahamians who didn’t have a visa were kicked off a ferry headed to the U.S.

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By Wednesday, those words turned into action. Reuters reported:

The United States will not give temporary protected immigration status to people from the Bahamas who evacuated after the archipelago was battered by a Category 5 hurricane, the White House said on Wednesday.

The status would have allowed Bahamians to live and work in the United States while their country recovers from the worst hurricane in its history.

The United States has a long history of granting the status to refugees of wars and natural disasters, with over 300,000 people from around 10 countries currently living in the United States under the programme.

Three of the top five Democratic candidates for president tweeted their reactions to the news (Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg did not):

President Trump’s personal history of racism has been well-documented and has not only manifested itself in his words, but it has also been expressed in his policies. Over the past two years, President Trump’s racist rhetoric has fueled the threat of white supremacist terrorism while he has actively restrained government efforts to combat it. This move to deny protected status to Bahamians is the latest in a series of cruel acts targeting foreigners of color.

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President Trump previously implemented the cruel “zero tolerance” policy which led to over 3,000 migrant children to be separated from their parents. Trump currently has in place metering policies that limit the number of asylum claims that can be processed at the border. Trump has made illegal efforts to end the asylum process as we know it, made continued calls to end due process rights for migrants, and detains migrants in inhumane conditions.

We can only assume the Bahamas is one of the “shithole countries” President Trump thinks is unworthy of gaining access to the United States. But then again, Trump didn’t treat the American survivors of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico with any more kindness than this.

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News // Donald Trump / Immigration / Racism / The Bahamas