DeSantis: Bahamians Should Get Hurricane Relief in Their Own Country, Not in FL

first_imgGovernor Ron DeSantis said Thursday during a news conference that the state, as well as its businesses and citizens, are prepared to help Bahamians affected by Hurricane Dorian get the relief they need in their country, and not by opening up Florida to people hoping to relocate.“If you just need the relief, that’s not what Florida’s set up for. Florida is helping to send resources to the Bahamas so the relief can be administered there,” DeSantis said after an event at which he joined business and charity leaders to announce the sport fishing community’s support for the Bahamas.He says he does not an issue with the Trump administration’s decision denying Temporary Protected Status to Bahamians, which would have allowed them to live and work legally in the U.S. while their country recovers from Dorian.According to the Governor, “TPS is only for people who are already here, so I think when people are saying, ‘Oh, let the people who came get it.’ That’s not what it’s for. TPS is if you’re in the United States, something happens in your home country, then you can apply for it. So, I don’t even think it’s applicable, and I think the Bahamian government has not asked for it. And so I just don’t think it would even apply.”Also on Thursday, 17 Democratic U.S. senators — including five of that party’s presidential candidates — introduced legislation granting TPS to “eligible Bahamian citizens” for a period of 18 months.Last Friday, a bipartisan group comprised of 15 Florida members of Congress asked President Trump to support TPS for the Bahamas “should its government request it.”The letter, which originated from U.S. Democratic Representative Frederica Wilson of Miami, was also signed by South Florida representatives Ted Deutch, Mario Diaz-Balart, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Donna Shalala, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.They explain that Haitians were granted TPS after their country was devastated by an earthquake in 2010. In addition, about 315,000 people from 10 countries currently have TPS.DeSantis’ message to Bahamians already in our state is: “Follow whatever the law is in terms of the federal government.”He explained that he had a briefing from the Border Patrol earlier this week, and was informed that about 3,000 people have come from the Bahamas to the U.S. due to the storm. Half of them are U.S. citizens and 99 percent of the other half have passports or visas as well as arrangements to stay with family or friends in the U.S.DeSantis adds, “The name of the game is relief and stabilization. We have done a lot of stuff. We’ll be able to send some stuff from Florida.” He was at the Bass Pro Shops store in Dania Beach, where he joined the chain’s founder, Johnny Morris, to announce a recovery effort called, “Anglers for the Bahamas.”Partners from the fishing industry are donating a total of $2 million in cash and goods that will be transported by the international relief organization, Convoy of Hope.The donations range from $500,000 cash and $500,000 of goods from Bass Pro Shops, including items such as family-sized tents and outdoor cooking kits, to 125,000 servings of canned chicken from Tyson Foods and 5,000 bags of protein-enriched Jack Link’s beef jerky.DeSantis says that famous golfer and Jupiter Island resident Tiger Woods has promised to match up to $6 million, and Michael Jordan has pledged $1 million.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *