NASSAU, Bahamas/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Emitte Bootle spent 25 years driving school buses on the Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island, but now that Hurricane Dorian has devastated his home, there are no students to drive – and nowhere to take them.
He and his wife are considering trying to move to the United States and seek work as a landscaper, trucker or bus driver.
Government - Houses - Infrastructure - Bootle - Abaco
“What the government needs to do is build better houses and infrastructure, and I don’t know if they can do that,” said Bootle, 54. “Abaco may not come back in my lifetime.”
Bootle is not alone. Several Bahamians interviewed by Reuters – on Great Abaco, in Nassau and in Florida, where hundreds of evacuees stepped off a cruise ship on Saturday – said they might attempt to emigrate to the United States rather than face an uncertain reconstruction at home.
US - President - Donald - Trump - Administration
It is not clear whether U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which has sought to severely restrict legal and illegal immigration, will smooth the path. But a growing chorus of Congress members call for a suspension of visa requirements to help reunite stranded Bahamians with U.S. relatives.
The White House is considering what to do, Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan told reporters on Monday.
Deployment - Amount - Resources - Florida - People
“I’ve authorized the deployment of an enormous amount of resources to southern Florida to make sure we can receive people coming in from the Bahamas,” Morgan said. “We still have to balance the humanitarian need and assistance of those that need it versus the safety of this country.”
Dorian pummeled the Bahamas with 200 mile-per-hour winds last week, causing immense destruction among the Abacos islands. Authorities have said at least 45 people died.
Sunday - Bahamians - Ferry - Florida - US
On Sunday, Bahamians were ordered off a ferry headed to Florida if they did not have a U.S. visa, even though others without visas...
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