President Donald Trump defended on Monday the policy requiring Bahamian evacuees to have U.S. visas by claiming without evidence that “gang members” and “drug dealers” were trying to get into the country with the evacuees.
Echoing the same racist rhetoric he’s previously employed about immigrants and Mexicans, Trump said he doesn’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.”
“Everybody needs totally proper documentation,” Trump told reporters.
His comments contradict those of acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Mark Morgan, who said several hours earlier that evacuees from the Bahamas would be allowed to enter the U.S. “whether you have travel documents or not.”
Hurricane survivors on a ferry destined for Florida on Sunday were ordered to disembark if they did not have a U.S. visa.
Dorian, a category five storm, decimated the Bahamas over the weekend, leaving at least 43 people dead and 70,000 other displaced.
Watch Trump below:
Trump baselessly claims "very bad drug dealers" and "gang members" are trying to enter the U.S. through the Bahamas. pic.twitter.com/tLHkHBdU66
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) September 9, 2019