President Donald Trump said his administration is working to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to people from the Bahamas following the destruction caused by Hurrican Dorian.
The president made statements to reporters at the White House on Sept. 9, clarifying that there would be a careful study of the documentation and people who threaten national security would not be allowed to enter the country, according to VOA.
“I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come in to the United States, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members,” the president said, according to VOA.
Acting U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Director Mark Morgan told reporters at the White House that his department intends to help people affected by Hurricane Dorian.
Morgan said that the documentation of thousands of people from the Bahamas has already been processed.
He also clarified that while priority is given to humanitarian aid, national security aspects are also require attention.
With regard to TPS, the senior official said that this benefit has not yet been formally granted to Bahamian residents, but they are working on that.
Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott also sent a letter to President Trump, asking the administration to waive U.S. visa requirements for Bahamian citizens displaced by the destructive natural phenomenon, according to the Miami Herald.
TPS is a benefit that allows people from certain countries who are already in the United States to live and work legally in the country on a temporary basis. It is granted in terms of six to 18 months.
Previously, it has been granted to immigrants from several countries with severe natural or political difficulties that pose a danger to their inhabitants, such as Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, and other countries around the world.
The violent category five Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas with winds of 200 mph.
So far, 45 deaths have been reported, but that number is expected to increase significantly.
“There are many more persons presumed missing and we are appealing to the public to file missing persons reports,” police said in a statement late Sunday, according to VOA.