Donald Trump warned that there could be “very bad people” and “very bad drug dealers” coming in to the U.S. as Hurricane Dorian refugees from the Bahamas, hours after a boat-load of evacuees was turned away because of visa issues.
On Sunday, as CNN reported on Monday, ferry operators, cruise ships, and other vessels have been bringing Hurricane Dorian evacuees from the Bahamas into the U.S. However, in one case, it seemed like a communication mixup and a bureaucratic snafu resulted in one group of evacuees being turned away. Specifically, 119 refugees were ordered off of a ferry boat because, as the operator told them, they wouldn’t be allowed to enter the U.S. without proper visas.
However, a Customs and Border Patrol official said that, if the passengers without visas had arrived in Ft. Lauderdale as scheduled, they’d have been processed per the usual procedures, and the agency would have “done everything we needed to do” to determine if they could enter.
On Monday, as Yahoo News reports, Trump warned that the Bahamas has immigration problems of its own, and that people the Bahamas do not want may wind up in the U.S. along with Dorian evacuees.
“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,” he said.
BP BREAKING| The bodies of Hurricane Dorian victims loaded off a plane from the Abacos. More than 3,000 are feared dead. pic.twitter.com/W4tHukE0QD— Bahamas Press (@Bahamaspress) September 9, 2019
Just how dangerous and crime-ridden the Bahamas is remains a matter of dispute, as Cruise Law News reported in March. Officially, the State Department warns of the risk of U.S. tourists being robbed, kidnapped, sexually assaulted, or murdered, particularly in some of the rougher sections of Nassau and Freeport. Further, the federal agency warns that operators of certain business that cater to tourists operate with little government oversight, and some operators and employees have been accused of sexually assaulting tourists.
The Bahamian government, however, says that its largest city, Nassau (population: 266,000, roughly equivalent in size to Toledo, Ohio), is no more dangerous than any other major city. What’s more, the Bahamian Ministry of Tourism says a tourist is more likely to be victimized on a Miami-based cruise ship than they are on the ground in the Bahamas.
Meanwhile, offers of aid for the island nation are coming in from around the world. As reported by The Inquisitr, for example, Bethenny Frankel has raised $750,000 for the devastated nation through her BStrong program.
As for Donald Trump, he’s made tight immigration controls a major focal point of his presidency. For example, during his 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly accused Mexico of aiding rapists and drug dealers in sneaking across the border.