CENTRAL FLORIDA — The Trump administration will not be giving temporary protected status to victims of Hurricane Dorian from the Bahamas. Still Bahamians have found their way to Central Florida, however for some, their future is now uncertain.
Phillip Johnson and Danielle Moss lost absolutely everything in Central Pines within Marsh Harbour, their home.
"You wake up and cry, you wake, you cry until our eyes were swollen," Moss said.
Extended family has taken them and their 1-and-a-half-year old son Mateo in, as they temporarily call Orlando home.
"Roof was totally gone. You could actually ramble through and see what you could get but everything is totally wet," Johnson said. "What was left was soaking wet from the rain of the hurricane."
While Moss and little Mateo are U.S. citizens, Johnson was able to come with a passport and clean police record. But that’s not the case for everyone.
Immigration attorney Ingrid Morfa said she remembers Haitians receiving temporary protected status when they were hit with the 2010 earthquake but for Bahamians that will not be the case.
"Us as a community, a community of immigrants, and even those who are not immigrants that understand the difficulties they're facing in the Bahamas," Morfa said. "We should get together to help, we should contact our congressmen, we should contact the White House and let them know what we want."
Johnson has six months left in the U.S. He wishes things were different for a situation he has no control over, as being together with his family, comes first.
"I appreciate everybody who has helped us because it was really in a time we needed help," Moss said. "And it's not all about just giving to us but to sit down and talk to us and see what we have on our mind … That was a big factor to me."
Giving 4 Hope, a local non-profit, has helped this Bahamian family by providing some donations but they need much more to start over. If you would like to donate to this particular family, ask about the "Baby Mateo" account.
Some Bahamians can travel without a visa if they are flying from a Customs and Border Protection preclearance facility in Freeport or Nassau or if they qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. For exact details, visit the Dept. of Homeland Security's website.