Following the destruction in The Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian on September 1, the Trump administration has announced that it will not offer temporary protected status to Bahamians affected by the storm. According to what administration officials told CNN, the decision was made due to the statutory obstacles in place, the time it would take to provide relief and the number of those who would be eligible.
A report by ABC News showed that 1,300 people have been registered by loved ones as unaccounted for, despite the official death toll from the storm remaining at 50, as of September 2.
With the increased devastation becoming apparent, Senator Bob Menendez, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was joined by multiple Democrats, including Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, in pushing for legislation to grant Bahamians protected status.
"As the devastation from Hurricane Dorian has left tens of thousands of people without shelter and food, this legislation is what a responsible and humane U.S. response requires,” Menendez said in a statement. “I hope my Republican colleagues join us in this effort.”
The legislation would grant Temporary Protected Status to The Bahamas for 18 months and would provide humanitarian protection for eligible Bahamian citizens who are unable to return to their country due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian.
“The Trump administration’s decision not to grant Temporary Protected Status to the people of The Bahamas shows an utter lack of compassion for a nation ravaged by Hurricane Dorian,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a statement. “Hurricane Dorian is a humanitarian crisis and the United States must do more for the suffering people of the Bahamas as they rebuild and recover from the storm."
Hurricane Dorian hit The Bahamas as a monstrous Category 5 hurricane, tying another Labor Day hurricane in 1935 for the record of the strongest Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall.