President Donald Trump, facing criticism after his administration refused entry to hundreds of residents from the Bahamas to the United States (following the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Dorian on the islands), doubled down on the issue on Monday.
“We have to be very careful,” Trump explained while speaking to reporters, The Independent reported. “Everyone needs totally proper documentation. 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.”
Trump added that the Bahamas had some “very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers,” but he did not include proof to back up his claim, or to suggest that those who were denied temporary entry to the U.S. were among those who deserved increased scrutiny.
Traditionally, travelers from the Bahamas have only needed a passport in order to fly to the U.S. It was unclear why refugees, who had been made homeless due to the effects of Hurricane Dorian, needed a visa in order to travel to America, per previous reporting from HillReporter.com.
Seconds ago, Trump asked by Press about why he suddenly blocks Bahamian refugees.
"They have a big gang problem we don't want here"
"There were parts of the Bahamas that were not affected by the hurricane, so they can go there."
Both are lies. pic.twitter.com/6nFIpQos0M
— Dr. Robert Fortuna (@psychdr100) September 9, 2019
Trump appeared to be paranoid over allowing residents to enter the U.S., at one point telling reporters that some gang members might be posing as refugees in order to enter the country in an improper way, the Washington Post reported.
Many residents of the islands, who were told they could travel to the U.S. aboard a ship, were instead turned away and told they didn’t have the proper identification required by Customs and Border Patrol to enter the U.S. upon arrival. Hundreds were told they had to disembark one ship, for example.
Trump had previously taken credit in a tweet he issued regarding the support the United States had given to the Bahamas.
“Thank you to Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis for your very gracious and kind words in saying that without the help of the United States and me, their [sic] would have been many more casualties,” Trump wrote.