Early Monday afternoon, acting Customs and Border Protection head Mark Morgan offered some peace of mind to Bahamians seeking humanitarian relief in the United States in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, following the news that some were turned away for not having visas.
“This is a humanitarian mission,” Morgan assured. “If your life is in jeopardy and you’re in the Bahamas … you’re going to be allowed to come to the United States, whether you have travel documents or not.” He said the processing would be handled expeditiously.
Then President Trump offered a very different message.
In a later Q&A with reporters, Trump emphasized that “very bad people” could exploit the process and warned against welcoming Bahamians.
“We have to be very careful,” Trump said. “Everybody needs totally proper documentation. Because, look, the Bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren’t supposed to be there.”
The president added, “I don’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 very bad gang members.”
So, shortly after Morgan said people didn’t need to have documents, Trump said they did. And shortly after Morgan emphasized a quick process, Trump suggested it would need to be very thorough.
The president’s comments shouldn’t be a surprise. This is his default response, after all, to accepting people into the United States on humanitarian grounds. [Continue reading…]