Video shows Bahamians without visas made to leave boat coming to the U.S.

A video by Miami journalist Brian Entin has gone viral, showing scores of Bahamians leaving a ferry that was en route Florida as the island is reeling from Hurricane Dorian.In the wake of outcry, U.S. officials are reportedly blaming the ferry company for treating the refugees this way.

Big problems on the ferry from Freeport to Florida announcement just made that any Bahamian without a visa must now get off, Entin wrote in the tweet on Sunday. This is not normal. Nornally [sic] Bahamians can travel to USA with passport and a printout of their police record. This is a mess.

According to Entin, Bahamians say they usually can fly into the U.S. with their passport as long as they have a clean police record. During the hurricane, which has killed 43 since hitting the Bahamas a week ago, thousandshave fled the disaster.

[Because] of the hurricane, the rules were changed and they could also come to US under those conditions on ferries and ships. Theyve been doing that for days, Entin wrote.

Angus Johnston, who is an adjunct assistant professor at a CUNY college, says the U.S. has for years had facilities that allow Bahamians swift access to the country on planes, which was extended to ferries as well in the wake of the disaster.

One woman who was seemingly allowed to stay on board estimated that 130 people had to come off the ferry, with 200 people remaining.

I think this is terrible, I think they should allow everyone to come into the U.S. she says in the video recorded by Entin. They originally said you could come without a police record and without a visa, and now theyre taking that back, thats really ridiculous, thats awful.

According to USA Today, the incident took place a day after 1,500 Bahamians arrived at Port of Palm Beach in Florida in a coordinated evacuation effort by both governments. Officials reportedly said those refugees had already possessed valid documents to grant them entry to the country.

Ferries werent the only commutes affected. According to USA Today, some private flights refused to take some Bahamians without a visa lest their pilots be detained, slowing down their return flights.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday morning told Newsweek that the ferry company Baleria Caribbean was responsible for kicking off the climate refugees. An official said the U.S. would not issue a blanket statement on whether people coming from the Bahamas would need visas.

Senators from Florida have called on President Donald Trump to waive any requirements.

On Monday afternoon, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) said in a tweet that Saturdays refugees arrived in the country without any incident because their passports had been pre-screened and their criminal record checked.

The ship last night apparently didnt coordinate a pre-screening & then didnt want to wait for one, he wrote, claiming that the ferry company was responsible.

The Customs and Border Protection spokesperson shared a similar concern. Michael Silva told Newsweek that his office had been in conversation with the ferry company about transporting the refugees to Nassau so they could obtain visas to come to Florida. Theyd also reportedly informed airline and shipping companies to make sure those fleeing had the valid paperwork and that the agency wouldve processed their visas had they found a way to a U.S. port.

We would have definitely worked with this transportation company or any other transportation company tofacilitate this process, Silva told Newsweek. CBP is not denying or discouraging evacuation efforts and we empathize with the plight of the Bahamian people.

The Daily Dot has reached out to the ferry company and will update the report if they respond.

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