Donald Trump has warned that the United States needs to be careful of “very bad people” from the Bahamas who may flee to the United States after Hurricane Dorian destroyed the northern part of the island chain.
The hurricane has displaced thousands of people over Labor Day weekend. Some of the evacuees may be headed to the United States.
On Monday, Trump spoke to reporters outside the White House stating that “We have to be very careful” who is let into the country.
“Everybody needs totally proper documentation because look, the Bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren’t supposed to be there,” Trump said. “I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers. So, we are going to be very, very strong in that.”
Does Trump’s language sound familiar? It should it is the same language that he used throughout his 2016 campaign when he referred to immigrants from Mexico.
On Monday, dozens of hurricane survivors from the Bahamas were kicked off a ferry headed to Florida after an announcement was made that anyone without a valid visa needed to disembark. Video of the incident has gone viral and U.S. Customs and Border Protection blamed the ferry boat operator for not properly coordinating evacuation efforts with U.S. officials ahead of time.
Brian Entin, a reporter for WSVN 7 News in Miami, was reporting from the boat and posted a video on social media of the shocked refugees leaving the ferry.
Big problems on the ferry from Freeport to Florida — announcement just made that any Bahamian without a visa must now get off. This is not normal. Nornally Bahamians can travel to USA with passport and a printout of their police record. This is a mess. pic.twitter.com/DESUm2qBGE
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) September 8, 2019
Entin wrote that “under CBP protocol Bahamians are regularly permitted to enter the U.S. with just a passport and a clean criminal record. On Saturday, about 1,500 evacuees arrived in Florida from the islands on a cruise ship called Grand Celebration, and none were required to show visas when they disembarked in Florida.”
Another announcement just made ordering any Bahamian without a US visa to disembark ferry — not allowed to evacuate. They were told before boarding it was ok with Bahamian passport and clean polce record. Something has now changed. pic.twitter.com/m7CnZxoiMM
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) September 9, 2019
Entin then posted a video of the boat pulling away from Freeport after leaving dozens of families in the decimated Caribbean country.
“I think this is terrible. I think they should allow everyone to come into the U.S.,” a woman who had been permitted to stay on the boat told the reporter. “They said 130 people had to come off. And now we’re leaving them.”
Trump mentioned that some hurricane survivors are being transported to other areas of the Bahamas unaffected by Dorian.
Climate scientists have repeatedly warned over the years that the extreme weather events caused by a rapidly warming planet has already created climate refugees around the world and it will no doubt force many more people from their homes.