The Trump administration will not grant temporary protected status to hundreds of people from the Bahamas who have been displaced by Hurricane Dorian.
Bahamians can still come to the U.S. temporarily, if they have the right travel documents, but according to an administration official, they will not be granted work permits, NBC News reports.
Work permits would allow Bahamians to seek employment and live in the states until it is deemed safe to return home.
“The Bahamians impacted by Hurricane Dorian are facing a humanitarian crisis, and the American government, international partners and private organizations continue to support them with aid and services,” a White House official told CBS News. “At this time we do not plan to invoke Temporary Protected Status for those currently in the United States.”
After being informed that they would need their Bahamian passports and documents to show they did not have a criminal record to board, evacuees were told at the last minute by ferry company, Balearia they had to get off if they did not have U.S. visas, according to Miami station WSVN.
“I think it’s important to note that if those folks did stay on the boat and arrived, we would have processed them, vetted them and worked within our laws and protocols and done what we had to do to facilitate them,” Customs and Border Protection Acting Port Director, Stephen Silvestri said. “I think it was a business decision by Balearia to remove them. They were not ordered off the boat by any government entity.”
Earlier this week, Trump noted that Bahamians will be able to get into the U.S. if they had “proper documentation.”
“I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States including some very bad people,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday.