President Donald Trump, said today that his country has to be “careful” when welcoming refugees who are coming to the country from the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian passed through those islands, because among them there could be “very bad people” and gang members.
“We have to be very careful. Everyone needs to have completely proper documentation, because the Bahamas has had some tremendous problems with people who went to the Bahamas and were not supposed to be there,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“I don’t want to allow people who aren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come to the United States, including some very bad people and some very bad members of criminal gangs,” he added.
The argument of closing the door on refugees because of the possibility that there may be criminals among them is a constant for Trump, who used it during his 2016 election campaign to refer to those from Syria and other countries in the Middle East.
His statements contradicted those issued shortly before by Acting Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer Mark Morgan.
At a press conference, Morgan was even open to considering granting Bahamians Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a program created in 1990 by which the country grants temporary residence permits to nationals of places affected by conflict or natural disasters.
“This is a humanitarian mission. If your life is at risk and you are in the Bahamas, you will be allowed to come to the United States, whether or not you have travel documents,” Morgan said.
However, this Sunday, a ship that was to transport hundreds of survivors from Dorian to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, forced more than 100 people to disembark in the Bahamian town of Freeport because they didn’t have a visa, The Washington Post reported.
CBP today attributed the incident to the ferry operator, known as Balearia Caribbean, and assured that it was not the government that demanded the visas.