Published: Tue, September 10, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Bahamas evacuees told to get off ferry headed to the U.S.

Bahamas evacuees told to get off ferry headed to the U.S.

All of them were properly documented to enter the country, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said.

"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 US and Bahamian government officials in Nassau before departing The Bahamas", CBP said in a statement Sunday.

Late Sunday, CNN affiliate WSVN reporter Brian Entin posted video from a Balearia ferry boat in which a person announced over a loudspeaker that anyone traveling to the United States without a visa must disembark.

Just hours before the confusion on Sunday's ferry, CBP's acting commissioner emphasized that USA authorities would be expecting "proper documentation" from those fleeing the hurricane's destruction.

Brian Entin, a WSVN reporter who was on board the ferry and live-tweeting everything that occurred pointed out that evacuees had no intentions of staying the us, and only wanted a moment to collect themselves outside of the devastation. However, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says Balearia Caribbean made a decision to depart Sunday instead of waiting for the prescreening. Scott noted that he and Rubio "continue to urge President Trump to waive some visa requirements for those in the Bahamas that have family in the United States".

Renard Oliver, who was aboard the ferry with his infant daughter, was among the passengers who were kicked off. "This administration has said the words on the Statue of Liberty should be rewritten, and in their actions, they are already changing who we are as a country".

Morgan said Border Patrol agents "will accept anyone on humanitarian reasons that needs to come here" whether they have proper travel documents or not.

According to WSVN, the residents were told that all they needed to get to Port Everglades in Florida was their Bahamian passports and a document from police verifying that they had no criminal record. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) have been demanding that the Trump administration waive visa requirements for Bahamian citizens fleeing the devastation.

Dozens of Bahamas evacuees told to get off ferry headed to US
A ferry boat run by Balearia is pictured in a file image taken in Port Everglades on May 6, 2015 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. On Sunday night, about 130 individuals seeking to evacuate the Bahamas were kicked off a ferry heading to the Florida .


Trump said Saturday he meant to hold a secret meeting with Taliban representatives at Camp David, but called it off due to the Taliban's role in a deadly bombing in Kabul last week that killed a USA soldier.

"I believe they were charging about $150, which is not low-priced because I think airfare is about the same", he said. "This needs to happen now".

"Incoming images and media reports indicate that thousands of homes have been destroyed and the basic infrastructure of many communities simply no longer exists", the senators wrote.

Trump gave no indication Monday that he is considering lifting requirements for Bahamians.

"Look, the Bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren't supposed to be there", Trump continued.

USAID Administrator Mark Green told reporters on Sunday his agency is leading humanitarian relief efforts of the U.S. government in the Bahamas by providing "lifesaving and life-sustaining assistance: food, water, sanitation, emergency shelter, and medical care needed to facilitate the Bahamian government's response". The evacuees reportedly waited in line for hours with the documents they were told that they need on Sunday night, only to be told something different, just as the ferry was about to take off.

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".

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