Bahamian Hurricane Survivors Without US Visas Kicked Off Rescue Ship To Florida

People arrive in West Palm Beach, Florida after evacuating the hurricane-stricken Bahamas. (Photo: Saul Martinez/Getty Images)
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September 9, 2019 10:56 a.m.

Bahamians who were evacuating after Hurricane Dorian were ordered to get off a rescue ship to Florida if they didn’t have a U.S. visa on Sunday.

Survivors of the category 5 hurricane that decimated the Bahamas embarked upon a ferry Sunday at Freeport, Bahamas, which would take them to West Palm Beach, Florida for food and shelter.

But according to a video posted by WSVN 7 News reporter Brian Entin, the ship operator told passengers who didn’t have a U.S. visa to disembark.

“CBP was notified of a vessel preparing to embark an unknown number of passengers in Freeport and requested that the operator of the vessel coordinate with U.S. and Bahamian government officials in Nassau before departing the Bahamas,” a Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson said in an emailed statement to TPM.

“Everyone who arrives to the United States from another country must present themselves to a CBP officer for inspection at an official CBP Port of Entry,” the spokesperson continued. “All persons must possess valid identity and travel documents.”

The death toll following the devastating hurricane is currently at 43, and about 70,000 people have been displaced after the storm destroyed their homes.

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