Wednesday, 03 June, 2020


USA bars undocumented Hurricane Dorian survivors from entering country

Prime Minister Andrew Holness Prime Minister Andrew Holness
Bennie Garza | 10 September, 2019, 12:53

"There are some real logistical challenges that we have to work on", Rubio, R-Fla., said during a news conference in Opa-locka.

On Sunday night, about 130 individuals seeking to evacuate the Bahamas were kicked off a ferry heading to the Florida.

After dozens of evacuees from the Hurricane Dorian-ravaged Bahamas without visas were forced off a ferry to Florida, President Donald Trump said the US needed to be "very careful" with who was allowed in and implied that unsafe people could be trying to enter including "very bad" gang members and drug dealers.

In a statement Sunday to CNN, CBP said it 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 United States and Bahamian government officials in Nassau before departing The Bahamas". The ferry was set to travel from hurricane-ravaged Freeport, in the Bahamas, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when the announcement was made, Entin told CNN.

But footage from inside the rescue ferry shows hoards of people - including children - exiting the ferry, leaving them stranded on the land devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

"The shipping company later received indications that in order to travel to the USA, the passengers would need pre-clearance authorization in person at the immigration offices in Nassau", Boix said in an email.

In the meantime, relief has reached many areas of the Bahamas rampaged by Hurricane Dorian.

Shelters were housing about 1,100 people, officials said.

But health minister, Duane Sands, told the Miami Herald: 'I am actually a bit concerned that the focus has been for some people the body count.

The National Emergency Management Agency said 2,500 people had been evacuated from the islands since the hurricane hit, a lot of them from Abaco.

But Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Silva told WSVN that Balearia, the ferry operator, did not properly coordinate the evacuation efforts with the American Embassy, the Bahamian government and the US Agency for International Development.

Speaking with 7News on the phone, Jasmine Cooper, a passenger who was taken off the ferry said the experience was humiliating. "It's hurting because [I'm] watching my daughters cry". "People need to get out now", she told CNN, sobbing when she adds that she had to leave her family behind.

Hundreds were turned away only after the cruise ship was filled to capacity.

The ferry crew said they were told by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the last minute that they were not allowed to take the evacuees to the U.S. port if they did not have visas. It stalled over the Bahamas for almost two days, becoming the worst disaster in the nation's history.

She was evacuated from Marsh Harbour on Monday and is now waiting for her family.

At the badly hit Abaco Islands, several places are still looking like a bunch of debris. "Finally, the roof started separating, back windows blew in, and I was just thinking about taking care of these people, and where we could be safe".

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