Donald Trump speak to members of the press outside the White House.

Donald Trump Defended the Cruelty of Turning Away Hurricane Survivors, Saying There Are “Very Bad People” Hiding Among Them

It's both racist and factually baseless—a Trumpian two-fer.

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The destruction Hurricane Dorian has left in the Bahamas is massive. More than 40 people have died (although that number is expected to rise) and approximately 70,000 more have been left homeless. Many of those affected have been hoping to seek refuge in the United States, and U.S. officials were working to make that happen.

Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan had said that Bahamian evacuees would be able to enter the country without visas, just with a passport and documentation of a lack of criminal record–the same requirements normally in place for Bahamians coming to the U.S. by air. (The CBP website doesn’t list requirements for travel by boat, but Morgan said they were “expediting” that process in the wake of the storm.) They’ve reportedly been ferrying evacuees over for days already.

Then on Sunday, more than 100 people were forced to disembark a ferry going from Freeport, Bahamas, to Florida.

The CBP said the refusal of these evacuees was due to “confusion” on the part of the ferry operator, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio blamed the shipping company, saying they “didn’t coordinate a pre-screening & then didn’t want to wait for one.”

Donald Trump, though, said Monday that there are “very bad people” trying to use the storm to sneak into the country.

“The Bahamas has some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren’t supposed to be there. 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 some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers,” Trump told reporters.

The idea that gang members and drug dealers have been hiding out in the Bahamas in order to use a category 5 hurricane as cover to come to the U.S. is both totally racist and factually baseless–a Trumpian two-fer.

(via Miami Herald, image: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.