No new arrangements made with any jurisdiction to facilitate relaxed entry
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — United States President Donald Trump announced today that his administration will take a hard stance against relaxing its immigration policy to allow evacuees from The Bahamas to enter the U.S. following Hurricane Dorian, insisting that the U.S. government will has to be careful about allowing people in the U.S. who “weren’t supposed to be in The Bahamas”.
The U.S. president said some of those people are “very bad people”, including gang members and drug dealers.
“We have to be very careful,” Trump told reporters outside the White House earlier today.
“Everyone needs total, proper documentation because look, The Bahamas has some tremendous problems with people going to The Bahamas [who] weren’t supposed to be there.
“I don’t want to allow people who 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 on that. Let me just explain, large sections, believe it or not, were not hit, and what we are doing is bringing the people to those sections of The Bahamas that have not been hit.
“We have done a lot of the USAID, we’ve done a lot of work with our Coast Guard and our FEMA people who have been phenomenal — I mean, they’ve been phenomenal — so, we’ll see what happens.”
Dorian ravaged Grand Bahama and Abaco between September 1-3.
The record storm, which pummeled those islands with 23-feet sea surges and over 185 mile-per-hour winds, displaced thousands and has claimed the lives of a confirmed 43 people.
The death toll is expected to rise to a “staggering” figure, according to government officials.
Trump’s statement was made a day after a video recording uploaded to Twitter on board a ship with evacuees showed an announcement which states that visas were required to enter the U.S.
During a press conference yesterday, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Spokesperson Carl Smith said NEMA was aware of an incident reported on a large passenger vessel headed to the United States from Freeport, Grand Bahama.
NEMA has requested that the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs investigate this matter.
Smith also announced that there have been no new arrangements made between The Bahamas and any other jurisdiction to facilitate relaxed entry of Bahamians.
He said Hurricane Dorian survivors seeking to travel to the United States or Canada from the impacted islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama must have all usual and standard documentation to gain entry.
More than 4,800 people have been evacuated via government and private transport from Abaco and Grand Bahama to New Providence, according to officials.