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Trump administration shuts the door to hurricane refugees from the Bahamas

In this aerial image courtesy of a US Coast Guard, a Coast Guard Air helicopter flies over the damage caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas ion September 4, 2019. The Coast Guard is supporting the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force, who are leading search and rescue efforts. - Dorian lashed the US Carolinas with driving rain and fierce winds as it neared the US east coast Thursday after devastating the Bahamas and killing at least 20 people. (Photo by Erik Villa Rodriguez / US Coast Guard / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / US Coast Guard / Seaman Erik Villa Rodriguez" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS        (Photo credit should read ERIK VILLA RODRIGUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The Trump administration is once again rejecting the famous words on the Statue of Liberty. It’s done so by words and by deeds, and it seems to be going line by line, from “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” onward. It has now, in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, reached a formal rejection of “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The administration will not grant temporary protected status to people fleeing the hurricane’s destruction in the Bahamas. On Monday, the acting head of Customs and Border Protection had said, “If your life is in jeopardy and you’re in the Bahamas … you’re going to be allowed to come to the United States, whether you have travel documents or not,” only to be contradicted by Donald Trump, with his usual obsession that “very bad people” might come to the U.S. if he does anything less than 100% punitive when it comes to a heavily black population. Since then, the word has come down that Trump gets his way: no TPS for the hurricane victims of the Bahamas.

So forget “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Instead, “Stay in your destroyed home or anyway don’t come here” is the new message from the Trump administration to the literally homeless, tempest-tost of the Bahamas. The only golden door the U.S. sports these days is a tacky gilded one in a Trump property, and anyone lifting a lamp too vigorously faces likely prosecution.


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