Trump refused to allow Bahamas survivors to enter the country by boat over the weekend after Dorian wrought devastation on the islands.
Then, in classic Trumpian fashion, the president turned around and defended his administration for doing so by citing the number of “drug dealers” who are “very bad people” who live in the Bahamas.
Rather than cite any statistics, reports or studies, Trump simply threw insults at a region that’s still recovering from a Category 5 hurricane. The Bahamas, as one of America’s neighboring nations, is an ally with whom we are normally on good terms. Several in the US, including Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, urged Trump to waive the normal process for taking in the Bahamian refugees, though their pleas fell on deaf ears.
“Everybody needs totally proper documentation,” Trump claimed, using his classic tactic of sticking to the letter of a law while disregarding the spirit of leadership and benevolence the US once aspired to embody. “We’re recovering from the hurricane, also,” he almost humorously added, pointing to the damage on the East Coast that hardly compares to the devastation in the Bahamas.
During a Q&A with reporters that was originally focused on Trump’s bizarre Camp David/Taliban controversy, the issue of the Bahamian survivors came up. Trump, in a rambling and strange defense of his administration, gave his take on the situation.
“Look, the Bahamas had 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.”
Here’s the thing about Trump’s statement: it’s not remotely based in reality. Everyone who was aboard the humanitarian cruise that was bound for Florida was told they would need a clean police record to be allowed into the US. If any of the people on that boat had priors or warrants for drug-related charges they wouldn’t have thought they’d be able to slip in on the vessel.
As per usual, however, the Trump administration is more concerned with fomenting fear of foreigners than they are with pesky things like reality and the truth.