Hundreds of Bahamian evacuees told to disembark ferry headed to US

In the wake of Hurricane Dorian’s devastating effects on the Bahamas, which has left at least 75 dead, many still unaccounted for, and thousands homeless, thousands of people have evacuated and arrived in the United States.

Over the weekend, nearly 1,500 evacuees arrived in Palm Beach, Florida, on board the Grand Celebration humanitarian cruise ship. All of them were properly documented to enter the country, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said. 

But on Sunday, a different story.

An unidentified person announced over a loud speaker that if “anyone traveling to the Unites States without a visa must disembark.”

In the past, Bahamians could travel to the United States and present themselves to CBP upon arrival but it appears those policies apply to Bahamians flying to the US; it’s unclear what policies apply to those traveling to US vis boat.

CBP released a statement on Sunday claiming, “CBP relies on the transportation companies in both the air and sea environments to be engaged in ensuring the safety and well-being of any individuals that have been devastated by this tragedy and that requires transparent communication and planning for adequate resources to receive any arrivals.”

The agency claimed that the ferry company “made a business decision” to take the evacuees off the boat and not CBP.

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