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U.S. Denies Protected Status to Bahamians as 2,500 Listed as Missing

HeadlineSep 12, 2019

In the Bahamas, authorities have published a list of 2,500 people who went missing after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the island nation in early September as a Category 5 storm. The official death toll stands at 50, but Prime Minister Hubert Minnis warned Wednesday the number is likely to soar. Compounding the Bahamas’ misery is a massive oil spill that’s begun to spread into the ocean off the southern coast of Grand Bahama island after Hurricane Dorian blew the lids off six giant crude oil tanks.

This comes as multiple news outlets reported the Trump administration has decided not to grant temporary protected status to Bahamians, which would allow them to work and live in the U.S. until it’s safe for them to return home. In response, the National Immigration Law Center tweeted, “For the Trump admin to deny TPS to those seeking shelter is yet another example of their sheer cruelty.”

On Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported a 12-year-old Bahamian girl whose home was destroyed by the hurricane was separated from her family by U.S. authorities after arriving in South Florida. The girl, Kaytora Paul, had arrived with her godmother at an airport in West Palm Beach and was taken into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services and moved to a facility for unaccompanied immigrant children in Miami-Dade County.

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