It’s been just over a month since the Bahamas were slammed by Hurricane Dorian. The Category 5 storm killed dozens of people and left more than 70,000 Bahamians homeless.
But when families fled for the US mainland looking for shelter and a safe place to stay while they rebuild, the Trump administration slammed the door. In one instance 119 refugees were forced off a ferry headed to Florida because they didn’t have proper Visas for the Trump administration.
Turning away Bahamian hurricane survivors is cruel and heartless. Sign now to demand that Congress pass legislation to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the Bahamas while the country rebuilds.
The solution is simple: TPS is an immigration program that provides legal status to migrants from countries that have suffered natural disasters, prolonged unrest, or conflict.
It was a standard practice of the US Government to offer TPS to natural (if that’s the right word for climate-fueled super-storms) disasters under the Clinton, W. Bush, and Obama administrations. And at one point, Trump’s own acting Customs and Border Protection chief, Mark Morgan, said it would be “appropriate” to extend TPS to Bahamians in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. But Trump lashed out against the idea, using racist and xenophobic language to block TPS for not just Bahamians, but Venezuelans, Haitians, and others he deemed “very bad people.”
If Trump and team wont act, Congress must. Congress can grant TPS to thousands of Bahamian climate refugees so they can work and live in the United States without fear of deportation. Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9), Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), and Barbara Lee’s (D-CA-13) have introduced the TPS for Victims of Hurricane Dorian Act, and five presidential candidates signed onto similar legislation in the Senate as well.
Storms, droughts and floods will only become more extreme as our planet tips towards climate chaos. And climate disasters are already driving a global wave of migration that will only accelerate in the coming years.
We must join together now to demand that Congress pass legislation that offers a humanitarian response to the growing crisis of mass climate displacement and provides relief to Bahamian hurricane survivors.