The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) condemns today’s announcement by the Trump Administration that it does not plan to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Bahamians in the wake of deadly Hurricane Dorian that has resulted in over 50 deaths, thousands missing, and the decimation of two islands. The number of dead and missing are expected to rise in the coming weeks.
Temporary Protected Status is granted by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security for foreign-born persons who temporarily cannot return to their country due to conditions such as natural disasters. The designation allows for individuals to live and work in the US while it is unsafe for them to return home.
LDF Director of Litigation Sam Spital states, “There are legal criteria for determining whether to grant temporary protected status for nationals of a country devastated by a natural disaster. Those criteria require a fact-intensive, on the ground review of conditions in the affected country.”
In identifying the patterns demonstrated by the administration, Spital continues, “Once again, the Trump Administration appears to have disregarded the legal criteria. The President invoked racially discriminatory stereotypes as he referred to those seeking safety as “very bad people”, “some very bad gang members”, and “some very, very bad drug dealers.” This same reliance on racial stereotypes rather than lawful criteria has led the administration to rescind temporary protected status for several other countries, including Haiti. LDF has joined other civil rights organizations in a pending lawsuit challenging the discriminatory rescission of Haitian TPS, and we remain committed to combatting the administration’s racially discriminatory policies wherever they arise.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.